Wednesday 18 October 2017

Leinster ready for fearless Cardiff, warns McFadden

Ryan: ditched his blonde highlights
Ryan: ditched his blonde highlights
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

If Cardiff Blues are expecting an easy game at the RDS this Saturday, they have another thing coming, according to Fergus McFadden.

The clash with Leinster is the first chance for the Blues to back up coach Dai Young's claims that Welsh sides no longer fear their Irish counterparts.

And while McFadden is not expecting a comfortable evening in Ballsbridge, he reckons Leinster can capitalise on their opponents' overconfidence.

"That's their point of view, they can think that," he said. "We can feed off that mentality. If they are going to come here and think they are getting an easy game, then hopefully we can prove otherwise on Saturday night.

"They had a good win starting off against Edinburgh. They have a great pack and a great back line and they made a couple of good signings over the summer. If we're not at the top of our game then we're going to be in for a long night."

McFadden took over the kicking duties with mixed results in Leinster's opening-night defeat to Glasgow on Friday, but although the centre only gets the opportunity to kick when others are injured, he isn't making any excuses.

"It's just one of those things you have to be ready for," he said. "If Jonny (Sexton) is injured or there is no one else there, then I'm happy to step up to the mark."

Meanwhile, Leinster's try-scoring flanker Dominic Ryan has revealed that he ditched his blonde highlights in order to gain more respect from forwards coach Jono Gibbes, who on Monday stated: "I don't think I'm too happy about forwards in my pack having highlights."

And 20-year-old Ryan is hoping his haircut and attitude can see him follow the example of Kevin McLaughlin, who last season made the most of his chance early in the season, earning a cap against Italy.

"I thought it was time to grow up and give up the blonde locks," Ryan said. "Jono used to call me Dominique because anyone with blonde hair was a girl, so now he's starting to call me my proper name."

Irish Independent

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