Felipe Contepomi: ‘this has to be clear, Johnny was not dropped’
‘We don’t drop him, we all agree and are in the same boat and Johnny is one of them’
Leinster backs coach Felipe Contepomi during Monday’s press conference at UCD. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Felipe Contepomi has explained the context of Leinster head coach Leo Cullen’s post match observations in which he expressed his disappointment about what he considered ‘nasty’ headlines with regard to team selection ahead of the Munster match last weekend, asserting that Johnny Sexton - Ross Byrne started and the Leinster captain was on the bench - had been dropped from the team.
Leinster backs’ coach Contepomi said: “This has to be clear, Johnny was not dropped. If that’s the way people want to see it or say it, (it’s) a perception or something that someone says from outside. We, and when I say we, it’s not only the staff but the players as we all want the best for Leinster, and Johnny demonstrated how great a team player and leader he is because he is the captain of the team.
“Coming back from a very (bruising) 80 minutes in the Champions Cup and all before (when) he was injured. We thought and everyone agreed that maybe the best thing for him was to come off the bench and be fresh or as fresh as possible.
“He showed, his show and go and break, and I think sometimes . . . I’m not saying journalists but you want to have a headline of ‘Jonathan Sexton dropped’. We don’t drop him, we all agree and are in the same boat and Johnny is one of them.
“He showed it, his attitude was fantastic throughout the week. His input for the team, for Ross, and his mindset to come in and do the best for the team; that’s what he does, or did.”