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Easterby’s young Leinster side quickly turning into men

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Sep 2011

With their treatment room packed to the rafters and nearly an entire first team out at the World Cup, the start of the RaboDirect Pro12 season has been testing on last year’s runners-up Leinster.

But team manager Guy Easterby believes that any early season setbacks could prove beneficial when the season comes to an end, with young players forced to learn on their feet.

Next up for Easterby and co are Scarlets and with 14 players in New Zealand and of those left behind – Matt Berquist, Andrew Conway, Shane Horgan, Tom Sexton and Eamonn Sheridan – have long-term injuries, meaning Leinster are thin on numbers.

This has meant the likes of youngsters Jordi Murphy and Nathan White have been handed debuts, although the pair were unable to prevent a 23-19 defeat to Glasgow last time out, a first home defeat in 29 games.

But Easterby isn’t about to hit the panic button just yet and he’s adamant that these knocks will only make his team stronger down the line.

“We are delighted to have 14 players out at the World Cup and they obviously had a great result for them against Australia last time out,” he said.

“But that just means that we need as many people fit and able to train and play with us as possible and just at the moment the luck isn’t going our way with these knocks.

“We had a proud home record that we have lost but it certainly wasn’t through a lack of effort.

“We did a lot of good stuff against Glasgow and probably just lacked that little bit of experience to make sure we made all the good stuff pay and that was disappointing in itself.

“But the players are going to have to learn very quickly and that is what we are finding right now.”