Dan McFarland feels in no way sorry for Leinster despite the eastern province losing a large amount of home grown players in recent years.
The Ulster head coach was speaking ahead of his side’s crucial Pro14 clash with Leinster on Friday night and strongly dismissed the notion that their opponents were hard done by over losing players.
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“Are you joking?” McFarland responded when asked if he felt sorry for Leo Cullen over the number of ex-Leinster players his side have faced in inter-provincial derbies.
“He’s sat in amongst 10 or 12 of the wealthiest schools in the country plying people from rich families through those schools, churning out bursaries to the best prospects. Do I feel sorry for him? That’s hilarious,” McFarland said.
McFarland has quite a few Leinster-made players in his squad, as do Connacht, but stated that those player’s are firmly committed to Ulster’s cause.
“I love it up here, as Andy Friend loves it in Connacht – doing the hard yards.
“When guys like Nick Timoney, Dave Shanahan and Alan O’Connor or Jordi (Murphy) run out with a white jersey on they are Ulster men, plain and simple.” McFarland commented.
‘I have huge respect for Leinster.’
Leinster’s 26-match unbeaten run in the Pro14 came to an end last weekend when they were stunned by Connacht at the RDS Arena.
The loss could put a serious dent in Leinster’s title hopes, as only the top team from each conference will qualify for the Pro14 final.
While that does mean Ulster have a better chance of obtaining some silverware, McFarland took no joy from potentially denying Leinster another trophy.
“It is an opportunity, but it’s an opportunity for us. It wouldn’t even have crossed my mind about ruining anybody’s anything.
“I have huge respect for Leinster as a province and a club, what they have done is totally deserved and fair play to them. For us it is an opportunity and a huge challenge,” McFarland said.