Leinster internationals set to return for Edinburgh clash

Support for burgeoning outhalf Carbery despite intercept try error against Glasgow

Outhalf Joey Carbery runs in his and Leinster’s second try in his side’s loss to Glasgow at the weekend. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Outhalf Joey Carbery runs in his and Leinster’s second try in his side’s loss to Glasgow at the weekend. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Internationals Jamie Heaslip, Seán O’Brien, Jack McGrath and Devin Toner are expected to filter into the Leinster team as Edinburgh provides this week’s threat on Friday. That injection of pack players maybe well timed.

Managing the game at certain moments will be part of the training drills over the coming days, although with more experience pouring into the squad, Leinster, who are also making adjustments to Stuart Lancaster’s arrival, seek clear heads for their third game.

“Yeah, all those guys are coming back into it. The timing of it is good. A lot of forwards there. Edinburgh are a very physical team and we went over there last year and got bashed a little bit,” said forwards coach John Fogarty.

Glasgow winger Tommy Seymour capitalised on two major errors on his way to four tries last week and one of those was an intercept after a loose pass from the burgeoning outhalf Joey Carbery.

While the lapse from the promising pivot is no hanging offence, it was a few inaccuracies against the Scots that cost Leinster their second match of the Pro12.

Carbery, says Fogarty, may not have been entirely responsible and even if that is in dispute Leinster see it as a reasonable price for the development of the 20-year-old. But the team lost intensity and paid a heavy price. On that there is agreement.

“It’s a good read from Seymour,” says Fogarty. “I’m not sure who was due to receive the ball but their run might have been a bit square, so we wouldn’t heap that all on Joey. He’s quite a calm guy and he won’t dwell too long on that pass.

“We’re not going to do that either. He’s learning as he is going and maybe that is part of it: overplaying a little bit inside the 22 or around our own half. That’s the game management that I am talking about.

“It’s not all on one person. Certainly, we wouldn’t be looking at one person. We’re not going to stress over it.”

The Clontarf player has been in the sights since his man of the match performance back in May in the Ulster Bank final and more recently another man-of-the-match gong against Treviso just over a week ago.

Already the coaches believe he is comfortable in the transition to senior professional rugby and is now pushing to become the first understudy to the injured Johnny Sexton ahead of Cahal Marsh and Ross Byrne.

“I think he has stepped up. He’s thriving at the level right now,” says Fogarty. “He is a young player. There are going to be little bits that need to be improved.”

“The really good part about Joey is his mindset. He’s quite calm. He understands. He’s smart. Hopefully, he’ll develop as he goes.

“I wouldn’t focus in on that one pass. It’s not ideal. We concede seven points and another seven shortly after it pretty cheaply. In the long run, it will be a good thing to happen to Joey.”

Irish loosehead, Cian Healy, is also hoping to make further improvement although Edinburgh scrums have been messy. In the last two matches they have had 33 scrums of which 16 collapsed and just 14 resulted in the ball being played.

On the composition of the pack, Irish tighthead Mike Ross is also playing catch-up after injuring his quadriceps muscle in the game against Treviso. Leinster are carefully watching that progression as this week is anticipated to be a difficult shift for the front row.

“Mike’s not 22 . . . he’s not 32 either,” said Fogarty lightening the mood. “We need to manage him right and get him to Friday.”

ends

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