Saturday 29 April 2017

Cullen reveals IRFU have not placed any positional restrictions on Fardy and offers update on pursuit of Kiwi wing

Scott Fardy, Australia, is tackled by Peter O'Mahony, Ireland in 2013
Scott Fardy, Australia, is tackled by Peter O'Mahony, Ireland in 2013
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leo Cullen insists that the IRFU have not enforced any positional restrictions on Leinster's new signing Scott Fardy.

Leinster confirmed this morning that the versatile Australian international will join the province at the end of the Brumbies' Super Rugby commitments.

Fardy has been signed primarily as a second-row according to Cullen, who also didn't rule out the possibility of signing New Zealand born wing James Lowe.

With a plethora of back-row talent in the Leinster squad, Fardy, who has Test experience in the back-row, will provide plenty of experience in the engine room.

Any non-Irish qualified (NIQ) transfer must be sanctioned by the IRFU and their performance director David Nucifora.

“No, we've basically signed him as a second-row so that's where Scott will primarily will or will be considered to play,” Cullen said when asked if the IRFU have imposed any restrictions.

“Obviously, it depends. It's so far away. Primarily he's been signed as a second-row. Obviously, depending on any given day things and plans change.”

Cullen was understandably delighted to secure a player of Fardy's quality and admitted that he would add a lot, both on and off the pitch.

“Obviously at the start of the week, there was the announcement about a lot of young Academy players progressing into the senior team and if you think of what the model is here at Leinster, of committing so many resources to the Academy in trying to produce good young players,” the Leinster head coach maintained.

“To get someone like Scott Fardy into the group who has 39 Tests, a lot of Super Rugby experience, he's been around and played in Japan as well.

“He came through a slightly unorthodox route because he would have played a lot of club rugby as well.

"I think the level of experience that he can bring to the group and add to the environment... I had some good discussions with him and I think he can really add to the group on a much broader scale then just what he delivers on the field.”

As per this morning's Irish Independent, Lowe has emerged as a target for Leinster and Cullen hinted that the club were in talks with the wing who scored a sensational try in the Chiefs' win over the Blues today.

“I read things all the time in the newspapers and all their sources, and I laugh at some of them” Cullen smiled at the RDS this afternoon.

“There's a bit of truth in some of them and no truth in others. If we have an announcement you guys will hear first. We will see....I'm sure there will be an announcement at some point. We're in talks with lots of players... all in due course.”

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