herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Te'o is ready to jet in

Leinster's second big summer signing, Ben Te'o, is due to arrive in Dublin next Tuesday.

The New Zealander (above) showed that the Irish province will get a lot of bang for its buck on the basis of his outstanding impact for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the 32-22 win over the Sydney Roosters to qualify for the National Rugby League Grand final next Sunday.

The super-charged Te'o put in a hefty 24-tackle shift that also yielded a blockbusting try, demonstrating his explosive power as he carried two players to the try-line.

The 27 year-old was making his first appearance for The Rabbitohs since a dangerous tackle triggered a four-game suspension - he has a reputation for playing on the edge.

Te'o has spent the last three months living with England's Sam Burgess, Bath's marquee rugby union convert, and the two men will jet out together at the conclusion of the NRL season on Monday as South Sydney bid to win their first title in 43 years.

Although Te'o has played rugby union as a teenager, he will be hard-pressed to make it into Leinster's first team for the first two rounds of the Rugby Champions Cup, starting at home to Wasps on October 19.

Te'o will probably start out at inside centre in his transition, the same spot in which Ian Madigan has manned so well this season.

Noel Reid, another twelve, made great strides last season and he showed no ill-effects from his ankle injury by training on Monday and yesterday.

Hooker Richardt Strauss is also back in the mix from a long-term severe hamstring, similar to that of Cian Healy, to be in line for his seasonal debut against Munster.

Unfortunately, Zane Kirchner and Shane Jennings have not been able to recover well enough from their hamstring strains to be considered for the Munster match.

Ireland wing Dave Kearney is still some weeks away from wearing the blue jersey.

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