Cronin yet to sign Leinster deal but Connacht return 'just speculation'
Seán Cronin has yet to sign a new contract that would keep him at Leinster next season. The Ireland hooker’s contract negotiations with the IRFU and Leinster Branch remain ongoing despite reports over the weekend ruling out a return to Connacht, where the 26-year-old made 55 appearances from 2008 to 2011.
“That’s all speculation at the moment,” Cronin said. “I don’t know where my future lies but I’m happy, I’m enjoying my life here in Leinster, I love Dublin. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.
“It is always a difficult period in a player’s career, that degree of uncertainty. I’m sure things will be nailed down as you just want to get on with playing rugby. It’s not negative but it is going to impact on you a small bit, not knowing so the sooner I get that sewn up the better.”
The Limerick native has been unable to nail down the number two jersey in Leinster, but the medial cruciate ligament damage sustained by Richardt Strauss in Saturday’s defeat to Clermont should see Cronin’s game time increase in the coming weeks.
“I always found that, especially when I was playing in Connacht, I got a nice run of games and that’s when I found I was performing particularly well,” he said. “It’s something that suited me so hopefully I can try and get a good run of performances going and it can benefit me in the long run with Ireland selection.”
Meanwhile, the versatile Fergus McFadden revealed yesterday, at the Ulster Bank Rugby Force club initiative, he asked Leinster coach Joe Schmidt to consider him in one position this season, with a view to enhancing his international prospects.
“I just said at the start of the year to Joe I’m just looking for consistent play, whether it’s on the wing or in the centre.”
Schmidt obliged by selecting him on the wing, more often than not, with Ireland also utilising him out wide during the November internationals.
“My favourite position is 12, it’s in the centre, but the way things have panned out with Leinster over the last couple of years I’ve been mixed and matched and moved in and around.
“I don’t mind that because of the squad of players that we have and the standard of players, naturally it’s going to be tough to get into the team so if I have to adjust for other reasons then I’m happy to do that, as long as I’m playing rugby.
“But I just said to Joe could I get some consistent (rugby), whether it’s on the wing or in the centre, for a few weeks in a row because that’s when you play your best rugby.”
“I don’t think I’m missing out,” McFadden added. “There’s been positives to it, going to the World Cup in a position where I didn’t have a lot of caps and I covered a lot of positions.”
He was selected in that squad ahead of the more established Luke Fitzgerald. “That worked in my favour but I think at this stage obviously I am hoping to clamp down one position because it puts you in better stead when it comes to international duty and lads are getting picked.”