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‘I’m disappointed’ | Quinlan o...
Rugby

‘I’m disappointed’ | Quinlan on second-string sides for interpros

Eoin Harte
Eoin Harte

11:38 20 Dec 2019

The second-string sides the provinces will play in the upcoming interprovincial derbies is disappointing for viewers, according to Alan Quinlan.

Leinster and Ulster have made 13 and 14 changes respectively to their starting 15s, with many young and inexperienced players set to take to the field tonight at the RDS.

While the experience those young players will get is valuable, Alan Quinlan told Off The Ball that he feels it devalues the matches.

“I think probably the biggest question marks about the interpros are the selections and the changes.

“Ordinarily I think that’s maybe to be expected that there’s going to be some amount of changes. But it’s a huge amount and I think it’s a trend probably for the next couple of weeks. They all play each other.

“When I played I think there was a little bit of rotation back then but not to this extent. Part of me has an issue with it. In particular for when Munster play Leinster in Thomond Park on the 28th of December,” Quinlan said.

As a result of the World Cup, many of the internationals will feature sparingly in the interprovincials over the next few weeks to grant them a period of rest.

While the desire to rest these players is understandable, it will come as a disappointment to punters who had hoped to see full-strength encounters.

“We have been told… that the internationals who are at the World Cup will only feature in one of the three interpros over the Christmas period and into the new year.

“I’m disappointed with that. Leinster - Munster is probably one of the biggest club games in Europe if not the world.

“I still think it’s an incredible fixture. It’s lost some of its bite in recent years. A lot of it is down to maybe the rotation of players and the internationals not going head to head against each other. That’s why it’s probably lost some of the rivalry.

“Obviously it’s still big whoever wins these games. You have the bragging rights and at this stage, you’re probably trying to impress the Irish coach going through these fixtures and trying to stand out. So it does give a lot of opportunities to young players,” Quinlan commented.

Leinster take on Ulster at 7.35pm tonight in the RDS in the first interprovincial derby of the festive period before Connacht take on Munster at the Galway Sportsgrounds tomorrow at 5.15pm.

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Alan Quinlan Connacht Interprovincials Leinster Munster Ulster

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