Former Ireland captain joined Wednesday Night Rugby to discuss showpiece fixture

Former Ireland captain Keith Wood is concerned about the health of the Leinster-Munster fixture, in light of news that some of Leinster’s best players will likely be rested this weekend.

The rival provinces are due to face off once again, but there are questions over whether Leinster captain Johnny Sexton will play – raising the spectre of the fixture losing its lustre.

Both Keith and Matty agree that a healthy Leinster-Munster rivalry is good for the Irish game, and gave their thoughts to Joe on Wednesday Night Rugby, in association with Eir Sport. One of the suggestions made has been to adjust the calendar to give the teams more time to rest.

“For me, it was a huge thing. The derbies were huge. It was a championship in itself,” said Keith.

“They were the big games that you wanted to play when you were playing for Munster.

“I think that it is wrong that we don’t have [Sexton et al] this weekend, but I think that it is very important that we do look after them in this window.”

In terms of potential changes to the competition – such as the suggestion by Eddie O’Sullivan to look to the NFL – have been given little time by Keith.

“Any comparison with the NFL is a waste of time. The NFL has huge money, has got one country, a fully-organised setup […] that’s it. We have the cup, the league, the autumn internationals, Six Nations and everything else in.”

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos like this, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.