Eddie O'Sullivan reacts to the Northampton selection scrutiny from the match against Leinster

The English side rested a host of key players

BY Raf Diallo 21:02 Monday 19 December 2016, 21:02 19 Dec 2016

A general view of the scoreboard at the final whistle ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Leinster enjoyed an easy day's work as they outclassed Northampton Saints 60-13 in their European Champions Cup pool clash on Saturday.

Leo Cullen's side scored nine tries in comparison to the English side's one and lifted themselves top of the pool with Northampton remaining bottom.

But after the game it emerged that there was a possibility that the Premiership side may yet face an investigation as a result of the team they fielded on the night.

With their European campaign petering out and the club languishing ninth in the Premiership, Northampton rested some of their key players in a weakened selection for the clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan gave his take on the matter when speaking to Off The Ball about the weekend's Champions Cup action.

"The French clubs have been doing this for years," he said.

"I don't think there's much that they can do about it. You can't force a team to pick a certain selection. It's the independence of the club."

With Northampton facing challenges on numerous fronts, the motivation to prioritise one competition over another, particularly when one tournament is already turning into a losing cause, becomes all the more likely.

"It's a pity. But it does happen in a tournament like this where teams maybe at the bottom of the pool and they know they're not going anywhere and they're fighting wars on a number of fronts and they decide to prioritise - and the French clubs have been doing it since the tournament started and we accept it," said O'Sullivan.

"It's a pity when it happens. It skews the pools. It skews the tournament. But it's very hard to legislate for. I really do think that.

"I think we're not used to seeing it from English teams. English teams front up no matter what."


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