Leinster go to Meath to clear heads and prepare
“We have had a lot of time where there were a lot of players not available whether that be a young player or a senior player, we have had players out. This is the first time the majority of the group has been available so we can go down there and train hard and also we are together as a group.”
Schmidt will look to Kearney, O’Driscoll and Fitzgerald for big performances but there is a danger too in asking for what may not yet be available. Fitzgerald, who signed a one- year deal with the province in the summer, and O’Driscoll have been injured spectators for months, while Kearney played just 31 minutes prior to last weekend.
“Brian is the only guy who got 80 minutes (last weekend), so Luke has played 62 minutes since this season, Rob has played 90 minutes, so these guys aren’t at the top of their games, they are not six, seven games into the season and feeling 100 per cent,” the Leinster manager explains.
“You can’t expect miracles from those guys. Brian was the only one who played 80 minutes, so it is not a matter, I guess, of those turning up and playing at the top of their game because we all know it isn’t that easy but it is great to have them in the mix for selection.
“I know they were all knackered at the end, I know they were out a long time and rusty could be a word that you would use.
“There were inaccuracies in our game and I would not try and hide from that – not from just those three. We still showed enough to come away with a four-try win.”
On Saturday morning Easterby spoke to his younger brother Simon, the Llanelli coach. “He was pissed off,” he says, adding that the former Ireland flanker and Llanelli have pride, that the team are hurting. Schmidt will see danger and opportunity. A little team bonding may just be inspired.
O'Shea faces disrepute charge
Harlequins director of rugby, Conor O’Shea, a former employee of the Rugby Football Union, faces a disrepute charge after criticising the performance of the referee Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts during his side’s victory at London Welsh on Sunday and saying that he had no confidence in the feedback process between the Premiership clubs and Twickenham.
Ed Morrison, the RFU’s head of elite referees development, spoke after the match to O’Shea, who was the union’s director of regional academies for three years from 2005.
The decision on whether O’Shea should face a disciplinary panel lies with the RFU’s head of discipline, Gerard McEvilly.