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Angered Lisbon Lion wants 'private word' with Leinster boss Cullen

RugbyPass logo RugbyPass 21/05/2019 Online Editors
a close up of a bridge: Angered Lisbon Lion wants 'private word' with Leinster boss Cullen © Provided by RugbyPass Limited Angered Lisbon Lion wants 'private word' with Leinster boss Cullen

One of Scottish football’s famed Lisbon Lions has issued a rebuke to Leinster’s Leo Cullen for needlessly bringing Glasgow’s incendiary Old Firm rivalry into the discussion about next Saturday’s PRO14 final.

The Irish province’s coach used his post-match media conference following the semi-final win over Munster to suggest that all Glasgow Warriors fans follow Rangers in the football, so Celtic supporters should all row in behind Leinster.

Cullen’s claim was roundly criticised over the weekend and now Celtic legend Jim Craig wants a private word with the mischievous Irishman.

Dublin , Ireland - 18 May 2019; Leinster head coach Leo Cullen ahead of the Guinness PRO14 semi-final match between Leinster and Munster at the RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images) © Catalyst Images Dublin , Ireland - 18 May 2019; Leinster head coach Leo Cullen ahead of the Guinness PRO14 semi-final match between Leinster and Munster at the RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Craig, the right-back on the Celtic team that became the first from Britain to win the European Cup in 1967, told Scottish media at an event to publicise the rugby final: “It’s nonsense, like a lot of things like that.

“But you’ve got to put up with it. If I ever meet Mr Cullen I’ll have a private word with him. He got publicity over his words and maybe that’s what he was wanting.

“It’s very curious. In my own background, on one side I’m an obvious Scot, the Craigs, but on the other side I have Irish background – but it’s from Ulster and Connacht, not from Leinster.

“I don’t think my antecedents would necessarily be supporting Leinster anyway. They would have been supporting Ulster last weekend but that wasn’t a very good day for them!

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“As regards this game, as a Glaswegian born and bred I’m all for Glasgow. I’m willing the Warriors to do well on Saturday.”

Craig’s own son James play for the Warriors and was capped at Test level on four occasions between 1996 and 2002, and the Lisbon Lion admitted delight that he would be getting to see a ruby match played at the old Parkhead football cathedral.

“I still follow them [Glasgow Warriors],” he continued. “James played for them for a number of years, so I follow them regularly.”

PRO14 final organisers have reported that next Saturday’s attendance will exceed the 34,500 that attended the 2016 PRO12 final between Connacht and Leinster at Murrayfield. The target that has now been set is to beat last year’s record crowd of 46,092 from Dublin.

MORE RUGBY:

Munster problems continue as another veteran calls time on career at province (Extra.ie)

Devin Toner ruled out of Pro14 final (The Journal)

Cullen hits out at 'nasty' headlines about team selection (The Journal)

Van Graan to take his time with review ahead of big summer for Munster (The Journal)

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