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Time for Tomane to pay his way

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Joe Tomane

Joe Tomane

SPORTSFILE

Joe Tomane

Leinster have prided themselv es on the smart decisions they have made around their overseas signings.

The truth of the matter is it took time to sort the wheat from the chaff as there have been those that have slipped ingloriously from the memory bank, like CJ van der Linde, Steven Sykes, Owen Finegan and Eddie Hekenui.

In particular, Springbok van der Linde and Wallaby Finegan had forged global reputations at the highest levels in the game.

Sadly, by the time they made their way to the Blues, the former was hobbled by his failing body and the latter by his failing commitment to the game.

The process of procurement of players has been greatly improved, headed up by Head of Rugby Operations Guy Easterby, an important influence behind the scenes at the province.

Felipe Contepomi, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Hines, Brad Thorn, Chris Whitaker, Stand Wright, Ollie le Roux, David Holwell all served the cause with distinction for various stints and reasons.

They all pale in comparison to Isa Nacewa, Leinster's greatest import and rated by many as their best player in the professional era for his immunity from injury and big-game moments, striking the winning points against Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final last May.

The failures have lessened as Leinster have become better at employing the right kind of man.

At the moment, the jury is out on the merits of the acquisition of Joe Tomane.

The former Wallaby was not exactly setting the RDS on fire with his game before a serious hamstring back in November forced his rehabilitation and, maybe, a rethink on how best to play to the value of his contract.

Like Zane Kirchner, it has taken the likeable 29-year-old time to feel comfortable in the Leinster system.

Tomane has to turn the good signs against Benetton into good form for the rest of the season.