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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018

'He's got an incredible appetite for work': Van der Flier sets new Pro14 record

The Leinster flanker made a remarkable 34 tackles during yesterday’s win over Connacht.

The flanker made 34 tackles against Connacht, and missed none.
The flanker made 34 tackles against Connacht, and missed none.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

LEINSTER’S GOAL-LINE DEFIANCE during the frenetic closing stages of yesterday’s inter-provincial win over Connacht was typified by the tireless work of Josh van der Flier, no more so than when the openside hit Ultan Dillane and drove him back five yards as the hosts repelled 28 phases of a western onslaught.

Overall, Leinster made 208 tackles — 86 more than the visitors — as they held off a brave and spirited Connacht effort which saw Kieran Keane’s side fall agonisingly short of snatching a first victory at the RDS and a first win in Dublin since 2002.

And van der Flier was at the heart of Leinster’s strong defensive showing on New Year’s Day as he made an incredible 34 tackles — missing none — during a tireless 80-minute performance which reminds Joe Schmidt of his worth having missed the November Tests through injury.

It has since been confirmed that the 24-year-old’s tackle count sets a new Pro14 record and brings his overall tally in the league this season to 90 tackles, and nine turnovers, in eight appearances.

“He’s got an incredible appetite for work,” Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty said of van der Flier.

“He has become very, very accurate over the last few seasons so his entries into contact have improved hugely. That has led to good outcomes and he doesn’t get himself injured too much because of his good work on his entry into contact.

“He is a really good example to a young player as to how they should apply themselves and he’s a great example for our guys, young and old. To throw out numbers like that is pretty impressive and it’s due to his appetite for work.”

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