Scotland v Ireland, Six Nations Championship, March 14
Leamy looking to vent frustration
March 13, 2009
Denis Leamy will make his first start of the Six Nations against Scotland © Getty Images
Ireland No.8 Denis Leamy is looking forward to releasing months of frustration when he runs out against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. Leamy has been recalled to the back-row after watching from the bench as Jamie Heaslip excelled in the first three games of the tournament.
With Ireland chasing their elusive Grand Slam Leamy has been charged with providing their go-forward from the base of the scrum, allowing him to exorcise the demons of an injury-ravaged season. Following shoulder surgery he was forced to miss Ireland's autumn internationals and a knee problem sidelined him at Christmas.
Now fully fit and firing he admits that his growing maturity has led to his greater calm in handling difficult injuries.
"I try to keep the frustration under lock and key," he said. "Sometimes when you get involved down in the provinces you do a bit of contact and stuff. That's always a good way to release a bit of that frustration.
"Possibly when I was younger I would have taken it out on somebody but you try and lock that away for when it's needed. Tomorrow would be a good day to bring it out."
Leamy appears to have fallen behind Heaslip and Ulster's Stephen Ferris in the pecking order, but he is understanding of both players' excellent form.
"It's difficult because you've got to understand the boys are playing well. They got the opportunity," he said. "They got the jersey against France. They played very well that day and they kept the jersey. You can't argue with that. Sometimes you've got to put your hand up and say 'fair play'.
"Initially I would have been delighted to come back in and just get on the bench. But when you are on the bench it's human nature you want more. Sitting on the bench is very frustrating. Thank God I haven't done a lot of it for a long time, so I sort of forgot about how frustrating it is."
Leamy and Ireland head to Murrayfield looking to set up a Grand Slam for the first time since 1948 but will have to overcome some poor form at Murrayfield, having lost their last two games in the Scottish capital.
"We've struggled over the last couple of years against Scotland. They haven't made it easy for us at the breakdown," he said "Competing for ball has always been an issue. Their line-out is very good because they have four very tall men.
"With targets like that winning ball isn't a problem. [Scrum-half Mike] Blair dictates well around the fringes and is a dangerman who needs a lot of watching. He runs the show, does a lot of talking and puts players into the game. Hopefully we can shut down their key players."
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