Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

'AJ walks in and he's all flustered, like all red and stressed...'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Alex Sanderson has explained the drama that happened AJ MacGinty last weekend, the Sale out-half pulling out of Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup match at Clermont just hours before the squad was due to leave for France. There was no drama on Friday lunchtime when the Sharks confirmed their team for the round three tie, Sanderson naming the soon-to-be 32-year-old to start at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, the Dublin-born USA international was soon scratched from the side as he learned that his wife was to be induced on Saturday and the arrival of their new daughter meant that MacGinty was to understandably miss a match that Sale went on to narrowly lose on a 25-19 scoreline

MacGinty is expected back in the Sale fold for this Sunday’s final-round pool match at home to the Ospreys and he will be welcomed back with a smile by Sanderson who had no qualms about the late rejig of his team for Clermont which saw Kieran Wilkinson, a rookie 22-year-old, elevated into the No10 jersey for his first-ever Champions Cup start.

Video Spacer

Rob Kearney and Alfie Barbeary – A Lion and a Wasp

Video Spacer

Rob Kearney and Alfie Barbeary – A Lion and a Wasp

Asked by RugbyPass if MacGinty would be available this weekend, Sanderson confirmed that he was and the director of rugby then proceeded to recall the drama that ensued last weekend when the out-half arrived flustered into the office at the Sale training ground in Carrington.

“Yes [McGinty is available]. He has had a little baby, and all the du Preezs are having kids – that is always a good sign that you have a good club, everyone starts breeding. I was chatting to Dan (du Preez), who is having one in a few weeks, about having a couple of days off to support his wife because it is their first kid. 

“And then I came off the training pitch and I was ‘AJ, is Sam not super pregnant?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, yeah’. This is on Friday and we were supposed to leave on the Saturday. So I am, ‘Do you want a day or two off?’ He goes, ‘No, no’. He goes, ‘Well, she has been for another scan and they are going to induce her at some point so when they do that I’ll have that day off and then she can go home, her friend is over from America and my mum is over and all that so she is fine. Once she gets home she is fine but I just need that day off’. 

“That is on Friday lunchtime. Two hours later I am in the office looking over training and AJ walks in and he is all flustered, like all red and stressed. He was, ‘She has just had a scan, they are inducing her in the morning’. This is Saturday when we are supposed to go and I am, ‘Jesus, well there is your day off’, and we couldn’t get a flight for him on the Sunday so he missed out. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think I tempted faith too much in asking did he want a day off and it happened to be on the day when we were travelling, that is why he was off. But you know what, there are bigger things in the game. I apologise to all our spectators who would rather have AJ play than be present at his daughter’s birth but that is the truth of it, that is what I believe. Some things are bigger than the game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

S
Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

12 Go to comments
J
Jon 8 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Tom Roebuck: 'I've seen many, many times people jump the gun to play Test rugby' Tom Roebuck: 'I've seen many, many times people jump the gun to play Test rugby'
Search