Saturday 3 December 2016

'Seamless' transition as Farrell gets ideas across

Published 21/04/2016 | 02:30

Andy Farrell joined the Ireland squad for the first time last weekend Photo: PA
Andy Farrell joined the Ireland squad for the first time last weekend Photo: PA
Fergus McFadden has been suspended for three weeks Photo: PA

Andy Farrell has already made an impression on the Irish squad after joining up for his first official engagement during the mini-camp in Enfield last weekend.

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"The lads were a bit intimidated by the size of him," according to Jamie Heaslip, one of several Irish players who worked under the ex-England man during the 2013 Lions tour.

"I said: 'wait until you see him train in the gym' because he can still bang it out'," said the No 8.

Jack McGrath has also been enthused with the rugby league great, who is determined to give his new charges a clean slate.

"He is taking everyone on an even par," revealed the Leinster loosehead. "I think he is making up his own mind on what he sees in training. We had a good session on Monday down in camp. His ideas are really good.

"England and Saracens haven't had exceptional defences by accident. He's been behind it and it is something I am looking forward to getting my teeth into.

"He is a really passionate guy about it and with the quality of coaches we have there adding him to it, it's going to be excellent."

Heaslip added: "Systems vary a little bit and he was just getting us on his page, using his language. It has been somewhat seamless.

"It was really exciting. The training session on Monday was about 45 minutes to an hour and it was getting us on the page with the different systems.

"He's got a lot of emotion. He's quite analytical. He's got his systems. He's got his way of playing. He's got a really good blend of both. He's tuned-in and he loves his 'D' and he's excited about the opportunity that we might have ahead."

Ban puts McFadden tour spot in jeopardy

Fergus McFadden may not play for Leinster again this season after being suspended for three weeks for a dangerous tackle in last Friday's Guinness Pro12 win against Edinburgh at the RDS.

McFadden is only free to play during the final week of the domestic campaign, should Leinster reach the final of the play-offs to be held in Edinburgh on May 28.

Yesterday's disciplinary committee, on foot of this week's citing, adjudged that he had committed an act of foul play, by "recklessly carrying out a high and dangerous tackle" on Damien Hoyland.

They added a week to the entry point suspension (giving three weeks in total) on account of an aggravating factor, namely the need for a "deterrence to combat a pattern of offending".

McFadden is now also in danger of missing Ireland's summer tour.

Irish Independent

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