Limerick's Sean Cronin wins second European Cup medal

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's Sean Cronin wins second European Cup medal

Limerick's Sean Cronin, centre, pictured with his Leinster team mates Richardt Strauss, left, and James Tracy following their victory over Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final

LIMERICK hooker Sean Cronin won his second Champions Cup medal on Saturday as Leinster edged past Racing 92 in a nail-biting final in Bilbao.

Thirty two year-old Cronin was also a member of Leinster’s 2012 European Cup final win over Ulster.

Former Ardscoil Ris student Cronin has enjoyed an excellent season as he was part of Ireland’s Grand Slam winning side on St Patrick’s Day.

Cronin said: “It’s six years since I’ve been in a final and, God, I mightn’t be around in six years’ time again.

“That sort of stuff goes through your mind during the week and you’re just hoping you put in a performance on the day.

“Last year we lost in the semi-final, but to get into the final and the pressure that comes from that – it was about adapting to that.

“The utterances I’d heard from the bookies all week were crazy.

“I don’t know what the spread was, 10 (points)? Come on! They’ve internationals all over their team.

“We knew that they were going to be in the game for 80 minutes. It’s so pleasing that we could get over the line. We played well and performed all year. If we’d lost today it would have been a killer for us.”

Cronin’s Leinster side will host Munster in a glamour Guinness Pro14 semi-final at the RDS Arena this Saturday, 3.15pm.

The dynamic hooker joined Leinster in the summer of 2011.  He previously played with Munster and Connacht, whom he joined in the summer of 2008.

A former Ireland Schools representative, Cronin featured in the AIB League for Shannon and he earned his first Ireland cap against Fiji in the RDS in November 2009, incidentally in the same match as Jonathan Sexton and Sean O’Brien.

Sean’s younger brother Neil is set to join Munster next season after impressing for Garryowen in the Ulster Bank League and captaining the ‘Light Blues’ to Munster Senior Cup success.