Sunday 11 December 2016

Leinster weigh up move for Farrell

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 18/08/2016 | 02:30

Last season Farrell took on a similar role at Munster before his position as Ireland defence coach began. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Last season Farrell took on a similar role at Munster before his position as Ireland defence coach began. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leo Cullen admitted that there is a possibility that Ireland coach Andy Farrell could be asked to fill in for the departing defence coach Kurt McQuilkin, who will leave the province in the coming weeks.

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Three weeks out from the start of the Pro12 season, the loss of the experienced New Zealander is a huge blow for Leinster, but calling on the services of an experienced coach like Farrell would fill the void somewhat.

Last season, Farrell took on a similar role at Munster before his position as Ireland defence coach began, and Cullen admitted the former England coach was one of the options they were considering.

"Yeah, potentially, yeah," he said of Farrell. "We are having conversations at the moment, there is all sorts of permutations. We will have a clearer picture by the end of the month I'd say.

"Those conversations are ongoing. It is very hard for me to say right now, we are working our way through the process," said Cullen.

McQuilkin will return to New Zealand due to personal reasons in the coming weeks.

Cullen also has to cope with a lengthy injury list with marquee signing Robbie Henshaw in the middle of a 12- to 16-week rehab from knee surgery, while there was bad news for Richardt Strauss, who is scheduled to see a consultant later this week regarding the knee injury he aggravated on Ireland duty in South Africa.

There was some positive news regarding Johnny Sexton (shoulder), Mick Kearney (shoulder), Isa Nacewa (arm) and Rhys Ruddock (ankle), who are expected to make their return to the side in the early weeks of the Pro12.

However, the prognosis remains unclear for Sean O'Brien (hamstring), while Cian Healy is 'close to a return' after knee and neck injuries.

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