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La Rochelle accuse James Ryan of disrespecting team at coin toss

By Ian Cameron
Team captains La Rochelle captain Grégory Alldritt, left, and Leinster captain James Ryan perform the coin toss in the company of referee Jaco Peyper before the Heineken Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

La Rochelle have accused Leinster second row James Ryan of ‘disrespecting’ the side after a slight at the coin toss prior to today’s Heineken Champions Cup.


The reigning champs fought back from 17 points down to upset the Irish side, ultimately taking out the trophy 27-26, leaving Leinster with nothing to show for a season in which they dominated both the URC on the domestic front and European rugby’s greatest prize.

It’s a case of history repeating itself, with the yellow and blacks foiling the Irish giants once again after last year’s narrow victory in the same fixture.

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Despite the joy of the win, La Rochelle  went out of their way in the post match press conference to address what they saw as a disrespectful incident with Ryan – who ultimately had to leave the field after failing a HIA.

Skipper Gregory Alldritt told reporters that ‘I don’t think James Ryan respected me, he didn’t look me in the eyes when we shook hands at the coin toss.”


Ronan O’Gara described the perceived slight as ‘disappointing’ and said he got wind of the incident during the game.

Leinster boss Leo Cullen described the loss as ‘agonizing’.

“Devastation is probably the word,” Cullen told BT Sport. “The occasion, the amazing atmosphere in the crowd, both sets of supporters and two sets of players going full at it – everything you want in a final which goes down to one point. Unfortunately we’re the losers.


“We started the game really well. We could have been further in front. I thought we gave up a couple of softish tries. In the second-half although we had the lead we struggled to get out of that end of the field.

“La Rochelle got over in the end and you’ve got give them a huge amount of credit. Bitterly disappointing.”






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Peter 388 days ago

Coaching is all about mutual belief. If you haven't got it you will NEVER get there!

Peter 388 days ago

The complaint sounds a bit pathetic/unnecessary and actually undermines the La Rochelle cause!

Sea 389 days ago

Plenty of photo's of Ryan looking directly at Alldrit, just ROG stoking the anti-Leinster thing Munster had when he was playing. It was the chips on both shoulders that drove Munster to success, and he wants it in his La Rochelle side _(small town, underdog, no one respects us, blah, blah, blah)_. Anyway Ryan wasn't relaxed or smiling presumably becasue Leinster were focused on getting the start they got, just a shame he had to go off for another Concussion. Hopefully not a protracted brain injury from an Ireland perspective. And as a rugby fan you want all the best players for every team fit and raring to go for the RWC in September...

Guy-André 391 days ago

La Rochelle accuses… Isn’t it?

Amanda 391 days ago

Alldritt needs to grow up. Ryan doesnt do eye locking. It not his character.

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