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Dublin: 9 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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Adam Byrne making the most of international pedigree at Leinster

The winger scored his first senior try for Leinster, but deflected as much praise as possible.

THREE MEN TOUCHED down their first senior Leinster try on Friday night. But even before Hayden Triggs, Adam Byrne and Cian Kelleher opened their accounts, the presence of Byrne was helping put something new on display.

Fullback Zane Kirchner, is nothing if not understated off the field, and that quiet demeanour doesn’t immediately change when he crosses the white line.

Adam Byrne on the attack Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

In the early stages of Leinster’s 52 – 0 whitewash win over Zebre Kirchner (for the first time in The42‘s memory at least) could be heard from the stands, barking instructions and marshaling Byrne around the field.

“As a back three communication is key,” Byrne said post-match in the RDS.

“Zane is really good at that and he talked to me all day. Even if it’s just little chat, it’s nice to hear a voice in your ear and it steadies you. Zane’s a great man, so much experience. A lot of caps for the Springboks and a lot of caps for Leinster too.”

The guidance doesn’t begin or end during the match, far from it. Rather than dwell on the joy of scoring his first Leinster try, Byrne continues to heap praise on the mentors who have helped him get in position.

“It’s such a bonus having players like that in the environment: Isa, Dave, Rob, Zane… you learn something from them every day.

“You do video with them during the week and stuff, but once you get your chance you have to add to the team and step up to the mark.”

Three years on from making his debut, Byrne had to wait to make an impact in his third appearance and second start in a fortnight. But once he got his hands on the ball – on the right wing, around halfway – he immediately settled. A big fend helped gain yards and put Leinster on the front foot.

Adam Byrne runs in to score their fourth try Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Unquestionably though, the highlight of Byrne’s night was his try minutes before half-time. Good footwork, hand movement and a muscular finish… of course, all the credit went to his team-mates (and room-mate).

“That’s mainly my job as a winger, just to finish the tries,” the 21-year-old Kildare man says with a bashful smile.

“Luke (McGrath) picked at the base, great hands to Josh (van der Flier) and then James Tracy put me away. I live with Josh and I’ve played a good bit with James at UCD, so I knew once it was in their hands and (Zebre) were numbers down I’d have to do my job.

“They done the hard work.”

“It was great personally but more importantly for the team. Not sure what the score was then, but it was the fourth try. (I’m trying) to add everything I can to the team and it’s a good landmark.”

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Sean Farrell

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