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Leinster getting used to O’Connor’s new systems – Leo Cullen

The veteran also backed the side’s youngsters to thrive under the new regime.

Leinster's Leo Cullen tries his hand at juggling.
Leinster's Leo Cullen tries his hand at juggling.

LEO CULLEN HAS backed new Leinster coach Matt O’Connor to thrive during his tenure.

Cullen praised the Australian’s “knowledge of the game,” calling him a “very good coach”.

“I knew I’d like the fresh voice and fresh face and fresh ideas,” he said. “The pre season has been a challenge – a lot of new calls, a lot of new systems, but everyone has saw what he’s trying to do.

“I think you saw from the performance [against Ulster] at the weekend. A lot of young guys were involved but the attitude was spot on and [Matt] has been really good so far.”

And Cullen believes Leinster’s youngsters will be vital to their chances of success over the course of this season.

“I thinks that’s an important thing – to have that conveyor belt of young guys coming through. Everyone works very hard behind the scenes at the Academy to make sure those guys are as best prepared when they get their chance.

“That’s one of the biggest challenges we have – making sure guys are ready to slot in regardless of who’s injured.

“It’s the power of the collective – once everyone is clued into the same way of thinking, it makes a big difference in terms of trying to get an outcome every weekend.”

But despite being one of the elder statesmen of the side, the Leinster captain denied that he would be easing himself into the season.

“I think once you’re there – you’re in full steam ahead. Once you’re older, you have to mind your body that little bit more. That might mean tailoring your training slightly, but once it comes to games, it’s pretty much full on.”

Almost inevitably at his age, Cullen is currently carrying one or two knocks, but he insists it’s nothing too serious.

“I’ve had a little bit of on an ongoing issue with my heel. But I hope to be back before too long.”

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