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.
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.
— SCRUM Magazine (@SCRUMMAGAZINE) May 21, 2019
“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!
“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.”
In pictures: Rugby goalposts erected at Celtic Park ahead of Pro14 finalhttps://t.co/84XMXx65za
— Scotsman Sport (@ScotsmanSport) May 20, 2019
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.
WATCH: Leo Cullen make his claim last weekend’s that Warriors fans all support Rangers
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now