Thursday 8 December 2016

Patient Cullen won't rush McQuilkin replacement

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Cullen: "We’re working away on somebody not just to fill a gap but really add to the group." Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Leo Cullen has said that Leinster will not rush into appointing a successor for defence coach Kurt McQuilkin but he insisted that the province are 'making progress' in the process of finding a replacement.

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McQuilkin will return home to New Zealand for personal reasons in the coming weeks and although he will be a significant loss, Cullen believes that Leinster are in a strong enough position to cope without a recognised defence coach on a short-term basis, if needs be.

"We're making progress, we're making progress," said the head coach.

"Kurt is going to be here for a couple of weeks. Behind the scenes, we've had a few discussions and some of what's been reported isn't necessarily accurate.

"We're working away on somebody not just to fill a gap but really add to the group. It's important that when people come in, they can really make a difference. We've got a couple of people in mind.

"We're happy we're set up for a period if needs be. We just want to get the right person."

Meanwhile, there was mixed news on Munster's out-half crisis with Johnny Holland confirmed to be facing a spell on the sidelines but more positively, Tyler Bleyendaal (quad) is set to make his long-awaited return.

Bleyendaal who has started just three games since joining Munster, should feature against Worcester on Friday but Holland's persistent hamstring problem means that he will miss the start of the season.

"Johnny went for a second scan and he was seeing a specialist last week. Johnny is going to go away and weigh up his options," director of rugby Rassie Erasmus revealed.

"He's definitely going to be off the park for a while and he has to make a few decisions now. He's not going to be playing in the next month or so. There are solutions, some are long-term, some short, but this is what we need to think about."

Erasmus also confirmed that Collie O'Shea will remain with Munster, while new South African signing Jean Kleyn is in line to make his debut on Friday.

Irish Independent

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