Who Is Better – Leinster or Munster Rugby? Alan Quinlan Weighs In
It is the most storied of provincial rivalries in the history of Irish rugby but who is better – Leinster or Munster?
In the past, Munster were considered to be the powerhouse of Irish rugby and the breeding ground for Irish stars on the international rugby stage. The likes of Irish rugby legends Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell came from the Munster setup and blossomed into some of the finest rugby players Ireland has ever produced.
Leinster were no slouches before either as they developed world class players like Brian O’Driscoll. However, in recent years we may have seen a shift in the balance of power in Irish rugby.
Here at BoyleSports we got the chance to speak with former Ireland and Munster star Alan Quinlan who weighed in on the Leinster v Munster rugby debate and how that is playing itself out in the construction of the current Ireland rugby team.
Leinster are Ireland’s heartbeat
Leinster have incredible depth and so many talented players coming through a very good school system and club system in Dublin.
They’re the envy of a lot of clubs around Europe. 20 players in the Irish squad that tells its own story.
It’s not a magical idea or system that was put in place or professionalism. It was always there, we always had provincial just a natural fit for it to go that way when the game went professional and when teams started playing in Europe.
It’s very much focused on the system and developments and young players and there’s a seamless transition then up into the national setup.
The balance has shifted from Munster to Leinster who are the dominant team not just in Ireland but across Europe.
There’s 20 Leinster, eight Munster, four Ulster and three Connacht.
The other three provinces are playing catch up and there is a massive difference. They’re well coached as well.
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Gibson Parks makes Ireland tick
He’s a wonderful player I think he brings real energy pace and tempo to Ireland’s game and he’s just a really good footballer, a really good reader of the game as well.
He’s a real sniper a running half back who wants to tap and go and keep pace and tempo.
That’s the way Ireland have got to play if they’re going to be successful.
Because when you come up against South Africa, England, France you’re not going to overpower them up front. You have to hope to get parity and have enough ball to attack and get the multi-phase game going.
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Joe McCarthy will be Ireland’s breakthrough player?
Joe McCarthy I think, the second row from Leinster. He’s a superb physical player who Paul O’Connell has a lot of time for. He believes in Joe that he can be really develop as a player and be a top class International.
Ronan O’Gara was always destined to be a top coach
He is very ambitious. He has always been cut out for coaching. He was like that as a player, he was pretty vocal , very intelligent, a great reader of the game who had an ability to inspire people around him.
He drove the culture and environment as a player. So it was never a surprise to me that he went into coaching and has made a really successful job of it.
I think he’s done a brilliant job in France. then the Crusaders went back to Racing and up to La Rochelle. It’s been a journey for him. Winning the European Cup last year means he’s guaranteed a free pass there for life!
I’d love to see him back at Munster. He and Paul O’Connell at Thomond Park would be the dream ticket.
Ronan will definitely be the coach of Ireland one day, I’m sure of that.
We’re very lucky to have that level of quality and the possibility of that happening.
South Africa in the Six Nations?
I think it would distort things. The tournament has got so much history and tradition. And I just think it would damage competition.
I love the fact that South Africans are in the URC. I think they’ve been brilliant.
They’ve made it really intriguing and interesting. They’ve strengthened the competition and the quality of the competition. But I wouldn’t be a fan at the moment of South Africa coming into the Six Nations.
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