Monday 11 December 2017

O'Brien and Healy big boost for Leinster

Leo Cullen
Leo Cullen

The IRFU's Player Welfare Programme is designed to have Ireland's players in tip-top shape for the Six Nations and the World Cup.

It can work the other way too.

Leinster will benefit from having Sean O'Brien and Cian Healy reaching peak performance for the business end of the season now that they have found their form with Ireland.

"Listen, Cian and Seanie, the two of them, we haven't seen them yet really, since very, very early in the season," said Leinster forwards coach Leo Cullen.

"They are two world-class players. To have them, coming to this end of the season, where they are just starting to pick up form, Seanie and Cian have looked better every week.

"To have those guys back is fantastic. Hopefully, the two of them stay injury-free for the run-in."

The condensed nature of the championship weeks has been imposed by the necessity for a proper build-in to the World Cup

"It's unusual in the fact that, usually, we'd have two PRO12 games in the run to Europe where guys coming off the Six Nations can take a breath.

"It's a very short breath this year," said Cullen.

"It's into what we hope is three blocks of two, I guess, a PRO12 game into Europe, a play-off game. What we want is to do that three times.

"You are in a European final. Someone will have been crowned European champions in less than six weeks. It's a bizarre thought."


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