Wednesday 23 August 2017

Matt O'Connor names 'unbelievable' Jamie Heaslip as Leinster captain

Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor has said that he expects new captain Jamie Heaslip to follow in the successful footsteps of Leo Cullen and will bring a wealth of experience to the role.

O'Connor named the number eight as the official successor to the new Leinster forwards coach Leo Cullen following his playing retirement, though Heaslip had assumed the role on a number of occasions over the past number of seasons.

Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney have been confirmed as the vice-captains and O'Connor says Heaslip has all the attributes to make a great captain.

"Jamie is an outstanding leader for us," he said today.

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"He has been in that role before even if that has been in a deputy role. He represents the values of the club very well. He's an unbelievable professional and that rubs off on the group.

"We look forward to the success continuing under his captaincy."

New Leinster forwards coach Cullen has said the decision to appoint Heaslip as his successor as club captain was a "no-brainer".

"He pretty much did the role last year was the way I would see it," Cullen admitted.

"I was pretty much there as an assistant role. Playing with Ireland, playing with the Lions, he has so much experience. He brings professionalism to the role. He is a phenomenal trainer and incredibly consistent."

"It was a bit of a no-brainer really in terms of selection," he added.

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