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Devin Toner set to become Leinster's most capped player of all-time

The 34-year-old is currently level with Gordon D’Arcy.

Toner made his Leinster debut way back in 2006.
Toner made his Leinster debut way back in 2006.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SATURDAY WOULD DEFINITELY be a nice occasion for Devin Toner to pull clear as the most capped Leinster player of all-time if he makes his 262nd appearance for the province.

The 34-year-old currently sits level with Gordon D’Arcy on 261 but is set to notch a new record if he plays in the Guinness Pro14 final against Munster on Saturday at the RDS.

‘Dev’ is much-loved in Irish rugby, someone who went from being undervalued to a fan favourite as he played a major role in Leinster and Ireland’s successes. His durability and consistency have been as important as his lineout skills.

While still offering value on the pitch for Leinster, Toner has also developed into a mentor figure 15 years on from his debut for the province in 2006.

“He’s a great individual, a great man to work with,” said Leinster assistant coach Robin McBryde. “When you come into our training facility here, it’s written ‘drive the legacy’. Someone like Dev is driving his own legacy because he’s helping others around him.

“The lineout is obviously his bread and butter but just the way he conducts himself with the youngsters.

“This last block of games we’ve had, where we’ve had numerous first appearances for young players putting their foot on the first rung of the professional ladder really, to have somebody of Dev’s experience and knowledge to be able to help them along the way there is invaluable really.

“Just to have that calm head… he’s always going to be above everybody because of his height but because of the calmness and not getting ruffled very easy, it’s good to build things around him.

“From a scrummaging point of view, the props know what it feels like to have an international standard second row behind them, etc.

“It’s been great to have him and it’s similar from a scrummaging point of view in that he has really driven the scrum. Dev, Ross Molony, they’ve driven the lineout so as a coach it’s good to see them taking charge and driving their own legacies here.”

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Toner’s Leinster contract expires at the end of the current season but the Meath man is keen to play on. Even if it’s not to be with Leinster, McBryde believes Toner should keep at it.

“If you feel good enough, then play for as long as you can because once you finish playing, nothing else comes close, not even coaching.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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