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McGeechan defends English game

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Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan believes Sunday’s all-English Heineken Cup final provides a stinging rebuke to criticism of the Guinness Premiership.

The Premiership has been attacked for its failure to supply a winning England team, its style of rugby and a growing reliance on overseas players.

But McGeechan believes Wasps’ potentially epic European clash with Leicester at Twickenham is proof of a vibrant domestic competition.

“The Guinness Premiership has been undermined in certain quarters but it’s a tough competition,” he said.

“We’ve been to every ground this season and never had an easy game.

“The fact it’s an all-English final shows there’s not a lot wrong with the game in this country or the rugby it produces.

“Maybe there should be more respect for English league rugby because there’s a lot right with it.

“It’s won a World Cup already and won a Lions tour for me 10 years ago.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate of what’s happened when the game went professional and it’s great to see two Premiership sides in a Heineken Cup final.”

Leicester warmed up for the European showpiece by taking the Premiership title with a 44-16 thrashing of Gloucester at Twickenham last Saturday.

It was a stunning display from the Tigers but McGeechan insists it will have no bearing on his team selection.

He said: “We know Leicester well and vice versa. We played them three weeks ago and there were a lot of things we took out of that game.

“The worst thing you can do is have a knee-jerk reactions to a performance like that.

“It’s about us, what we want to do and how we want to do it. That’s where our focus is totally.”

 

365 Digital

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