Monday 27 March 2017

McGrath welcomes 'expansive' style

McGrath has enjoyed an extended run in the starting XV and he maintained that the current style of play suits the young players
McGrath has enjoyed an extended run in the starting XV and he maintained that the current style of play suits the young players
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Luke McGrath has welcomed the return of Leinster's expansive game-plan and has praised the influence of the new-look coaching team.

Leinster struggled under Matt O'Connor last season and came in for severe criticism from their own supporters for what was a turgid style of play.

McGrath has enjoyed an extended run in the starting XV and he maintained that the current style of play suits the young players.

"I think in the first five games we've thrown the ball around and tried to show the attacking style that Leinster are known for," the scrum-half said.

"Leo (Cullen) has really put his own stamp in that we want to show our attacking play and then with Kurt (McQuilkin) in defence we want to concede as few tries as possible.

"The style suits the young lads, everyone who's been through the academy and played with the 'A' team over the last few years loves playing the attacking rugby.

"That's the way our mindset is so I've no doubt with the boys back in that we will keep playing that way."

By his own admission, last season wasn't a good one for McGrath as he didn't make as much progress up the pecking order as he had hoped.

With Eoin Reddan returning to training this week, the competition for places has heightened but McGrath is happy with the direction that his game is going in.

"Personally, I didn't play as well as I wanted to (last season), the coaches just told me to keep the head down, keep working and thankfully I'm still young and I have age on my side.

"I've been trying to work on my game, passing, kicking, reading the game and everything that a nine does. That's been my focus and now thankfully with the lads away I've got an opportunity and I just want to build on that," he added.

The 22-year-old is also relishing the prospect of linking up with Johnny Sexton:

"I played with Johnny once just before he left. It was brilliant, he does demand a lot but I think at this club we demand a lot from each other and that's something that's going to continue this season."

Irish Independent

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