baby blues

'They're young guys who are going to be the future of this club' -- Leo Cullen

Ringrose, Furlong, Tracey, Molony, Dooley and McGrath will get their first taste of a Champions Cup start tomorrow.

WHILE THE FUTURE of Marty Moore is almost certain to include a spell with Wasps in the near future, and tomorrow’s 10-12 axis is also headed overseas, Leo Cullen is hoping that a new crop of players can hit the ground running in Europe tomorrow.

Marty Moore In with the new, but will it be out with the not-so-old? Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

The Leinster  head coach has given six men their first opportunity to start a European tie; from overdue already-internationals like Tadhg Furlong to his fellow front row Peter Dooley making his first ever Leinster start.

It’s a gamble, but after four defeats in the competition, it’s well worth taking. Cullen has nothing to lose in the Champions Cup, but everything to plan ahead for in the Pro12.

“We’re in an okay place in the Pro12 (second) so it’s important that we manage our resources,” Cullen said after his side’s Captain’s Run at the RDS today.

“Some of the young guys that will start in Europe for the first time. They’re young guys who are going to be the future of this club. we want to get behind them as best as we can, we’ll do everything we can for them this week and we would urge the support to really get behind them as well.

Garry Ringrose Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

“Hopefully they’ll get a lot of confidence from the experience which will serve them well, not just this season, but in future as well.”

While Cullen freely sprinkles the idea of squad management in to the reasoning for his team selection, he is also keen to stress that the half dozen new faces well and truly deserve their shot. Garry Ringrose is fast becoming a household name, but from Ross Molony to Luke McGrath, he is backed up by players of real talent and international potential.

“We would hope all of them have a huge future at this club,” said Cullen.

“This time of year, even though we can’t progress in the competition. There’s always plenty at stake, that’s one of the great things about the nature of the setup here because everybody wants to progress and move on to a higher level.”

“They have worked incredibly hard and they deserve it as well. It’s been a really competitive environment over the last couple of weeks.

“The reality is we can’t qualify, so we’re trying to manage the squad as well. At home here in the RDS it’s a great chance for those guys. It’s just rewards for some of the work they’ve put in.”

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