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Monday 11 December 2017

Mike Ross to carry burden for Blues with Moore injury blow

Ben Te'o
Ben Te'o

Ireland tight-head Martin Moore will be out of the game for 12 weeks with a shoulder injury.

This puts Leinster and Ireland's immediate scrummaging future into a state of disrepair that could prove to be troublesome with the Champions Cup and November internationals looming.

The province will turn back to Mike Ross and forward to Tadhg Furlong.

Who knows? Ireland's Joe Schmidt might just do the same.

"It looks like the shoulder again. He's some damage to his 'labrum' I think. He banged his AC before so it's different to that," said forwards coach Leo Cullen.

"Yeah, listen Marty's gone great since he's come in. He exploded in the first game in Europe last year when he came on against the Ospreys.

"He's been very key to us in what we are doing. Yeah, he's a very powerful scrummager Marty."

Now, the burden of responsibility falls where it always seems to be in recent years onto the veteran international Ross.

"I have always talked to Rossy over the last number of years about how important he is to the group.

"As we head into Europe again, he's going to be huge member of the team".

And what about Furlong? "Tadhg's working away. He's hungry. He wants it badly," said Cullen.

"He's had a tough run with injuries over the last couple of years. But, he's young and he's mad keen to learn. It's a pretty exciting challenge for him, if he gets an opportunity".

Moreover, Leinster will come into engagement against a newly built Wasps front row which was merciless against high-flying Bath at the weekend.

"I saw their game against Bath. The first 65 minutes of the game I thought they were outstanding, 29-0 up at one point," noted Cullen. "They've got (Lorenzo) Cittadini, (Carlo) Festuccia in, Matt Mullan, who was with Worcester. They're decent. Bradley Davies came in for his first start at the weekend.

"Dai Young is a pretty shrewd operator and they've brought in a lot of talent, recruited very heavily over the summer."

This is where Ross will have to do what he has done in the past and Furlong will have to show he is the future.

Leinster new boy, Samoan international Ben Et'o, seen as the apossible new number 13, was straight into action yesterday, training soon after arriving in Dublin.

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