No IRFU influence in Scott Fardy signing, say Leinster
Leo Cullen has made four changes for Pro12 clash with Scarlets at the RDS on Saturday
Soctt Fardy will join the Leinster squad for the start of next season. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leinster have said there was no IRFU influence on them in deciding that Scott Fardy has been signed purely as a secondrow player, although the Australian has also played in the backrow during his storied career.
While there is no surprise given the prodigious depth of talent Leinster have in the backrow positions, Leo Cullen added that Fardy’s all round experience was also a factor in bringing him to the RDS next season.
Capped 39 times for the Wallabies, he is due to be in Dublin for the beginning of next season.
“It’s so far away. Primarily he’s been signed as a secondrow,” said Cullen. “Obviously, depending on any given day things and plans change.”
When asked if the IRFU had an influence, the Leinster coach said that players have often ended up in positions they didn’t start in and recently finished with just 14 players on the pitch.
“No. We’ve basically signed him as a second-row so that’s where Scott will primarily will or will be considered to play.”
“To get someone like Scott Fardy into the group who has 39 Tests, a lot of Super Rugby experience…he’s been around and played in Japan as well,” added Cullen.
“He came through a slightly unorthodox route because he would have played a lot of club rugby as well. I think the level of experience that he can bring to the group and add to the environment...I had some good discussions with him and I think he can really add to the group on a much broader scale then just what he delivers on the field.”
Cullen added that the game against the Scarlets on Saturday arrived too early for the injured Isa Nacewa but that they hope to have him back for the match against Cardiff, while Fergus McFadden trained this week and is on the left wing.
Cullen was less forthcoming about the unconfirmed reports that outside back James Lowe, of the Waikato Chiefs’ was on his way to Dublin. The 24-year-old has been linked Leinster seek to fill the non-Irish qualified slot created by South African Zane Kirchner, who departs at the end of the season.
“I read things all the time in the newspapers and all their sources,” said Cullen. “There’s a bit of truth in some of them and no truth in others. If we have an announcement you guys will hear first…we’re in talks with lots of players.”
What will he bring?
“Obviously at the start of the week, there was the announcement about a lot of young Academy players progressing into the senior team and if you think of what the model is here at Leinster, of committing so many resources to the Academy in trying to produce good young players.”
Leinster team to face Scarlets, Saturday March 4th (kick off: 7.35), live on TG4:
Joey Carbery, Adam Byrne, Zane Kirchner, Noel Reid, Fergus McFadden, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath, Peter Dooley, Richardt Strauss (C), Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Hayden Triggs, Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Mike Ross, Mike McCarthy, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Tom Daly, Barry Daly.