Schmidt hoping for clean bill of health

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Jan 2012


Leinster coach Joe Schmidt admits he will be watching the Six Nations with crossed fingers as he hopes his players don’t pick up any injuries after they booked a home Heineken Cup quarter-final berth.

The reigning Heineken Cup champions eased past Montpellier 25-3 to secure a home game in the first round of knockout matches, tries from Sean O’Brien, Rob Kearney and Cian Healy doing the damage.

This meant the current RaboDirect PRO12 leaders racked up an impressive 24-point haul in Europe this season, the one blip coming with a draw against Montpellier in round one.

And with Schmidt and co looking to keep their hands on the Heineken Cup trophy for another year, the Leinster coach knows it could come down to who has the cleaner bill of health come April, with a dozen of his side set to star for Ireland in the upcoming Six Nations.

"A couple of nice plays came off for us to get a couple of tries and build a 17-point lead and I thought there was really good character to defend off our line the way we did," said Schmidt.

“There was a mix of the flashy stuff and the real 'role your sleeves up' stuff. Those two things gave us the half-time advantage and it was fantastic to score after half-time.

"It's a little bit hard, even more this year because there has been three months consecutive, but it's nice to have a bit of momentum, put a few good results together even if they haven't all been great performances.

"We just have to bide our time, watch a bit of Six Nations and hope guys come out of that fully fit.”