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Cullen apologies over Celtic remark

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Leo Cullen has apologised for calling on Celtic fans to turn their back on Glasgow

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has apologised for calling on Celtic fans to turn their back on Glasgow and support his side when they run out at Parkhead on Saturday.

The Irish outfit will take on Warriors in the grand final of the Guinness PRO14, which is being staged at Celtic Park.

Cullen suggested last week that the Hoops support should back his team because “Glasgow rugby players all support Rangers I’ve been told”.

But he insisted his remarks were not serious as he spoke at his final press conference ahead of their Warriors showdown, saying: “It was a throwaway remark and made in jest. I didn’t mean to offend anyone and to anyone I did offend, I apologise.”

Cullen had dropped his guard following last Saturday’s 24-9 semi-final win over Munster at the RDS. “Everyone in Glasgow should be supporting us,” he said. “Thousands of Irish fans go over to watch Celtic play pretty much every weekend, hopefully we will have a few of those supporting us.

“Glasgow rugby players all support Rangers I’ve been told. Glasgow (Warriors) are probably more Rangers supporters than Celtic ones.”

Cullen’s claim was roundly criticised, with even Celtic legend Jim Craig wanting a private word with the mischievous Irishman.

Craig, the right-back on the Celtic team that became the first from Britain to win football’s European Cup in 1967, said: “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.

“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.”

WATCH: RugbyPass goes behind at the 2018 Guinness PRO14 final in Dublin

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Leo Cullen has apologised for calling on Celtic fans to turn their back on Glasgow