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Dublin: 1°C Saturday 10 April 2021

Explosive Brown and Yarde high on Leinster's watch list - Dave Kearney

Kearney wary of the threat posed by Harlequins’ fast-paced backs.

Yarde, left, celebrates a try with Brown at the Stoop (file photo).
Yarde, left, celebrates a try with Brown at the Stoop (file photo).
Image: Andrew Matthews

DAVE KEARNEY KNOWS that he will need to be at top speed to contain Harlequins’ explosive threat.

Leinster travel to the Stoop on Sunday for the first part of Pool 2 double-header that will go a long way towards defining their European challenge.

Kearney wants another chance to prove that he’s back at full tilt after six months out of the game with a knee injury.

While the bulk of Leinster’s international contingent were away in November, he slipped back into the mix with two 80-minute runs against Treviso and Ospreys, scoring a try on his return in Italy.

“There was a bit of stiffness after the games which is expected,” he explained on Monday. “Obviously your knee is not used to taking impact for such a long time but touch wood, so far so good.

“The first game is pretty nerve-racking,” he admits. “You obviously do a lot of work before that trying to get yourself back, so you put yourself in positions that you’re going to be in in games. It’s not like you’re thrown in at the deep end before doing anything.

It is nerve-racking but there and then, when you get the ball in hand, you don’t really think about it. You’re just thinking about beating players.

Saturday’s game against the Ospreys was one for the purists with all 30 points in an 18-12 win coming from the kicking tee.

But Kearney expects a different scenario against a Quins side determined to put their patchy Premiership form behind them, and is well aware of the threat posed by pacey England duo Mike Brown and Marland Yarde.

For the people watching that [Ospreys] game and fans at it, it wasn’t a free-flowing, running game of rugby. There was a lot of kicking, not very good kicking, a lot of tackling, and not a pretty game to watch.

“I think it will be a different game this week. Harlequins like to throw the ball around as well.

“They’ve got a lot of fast blokes — Brown, Yarde, lads who like to run the ball. Hopefully it will be a different game to the Ospreys one.”

On Yarde, he added: “You don’t need to look too far to see that he’s very quick, abrasive, strong, he likes to run with the ball, likewise with Brown.

“They’re two very strong lads as well so we know that they’re going to pose a big threat to us. We’re going to keep a close eye on them.”

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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