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Isaac ready to boss RDS

"There are things left unachieved for me in my career."

As a statement of intent by Isaac Boss as he stands on the cusp of a new chapter in his life, it is a telling one. Determination drives him forward, the constant desire to improve steering him from an enjoyable five-year spell in Belfast.

The decision he made was not an easy one, but he decided that a new challenge was needed so that by the time he hung up his boots he would do so in the knowledge that he had answered the many driven questions he had asked of himself.

It took a man of hunger to take the plunge in the 2005/06 season when he decided to move from NPC and Super 12 rugby to forge links in the province of his maternal grandmother's family, the McAllister's from Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Growing up on the vast Waikato farm land, he was reared on tales of the old country.

Since his summer move from Ulster he has gone about his task with the kind of relish you'd expect from a man keen to make a good early impression. Though a country boy at heart, he has settled temporarily in the Grand Canal area of central Dublin.

Pragmatic and frank, last Friday night's debut was tinged with the kind of regret and frustration that you expect would have taken him a few days to shake off.

"We should have won the game and I think we all felt that we missed out on a great chance to take Glasgow over on their home ground", he reflected.

"I don't think that a lack of cohesion is an excuse for us because we had a few games together over the last few weeks. Even though we were without a few players we had planned to win and it was a good time to strike.

"We'll reflect on our analysis and try to learn from our mistakes because there has been a steady improvement in recent weeks and we want to get that first win."

If last weekend's Magners League first round of matches suggested anything it was that attack is back. Boss estimates that the change of rules should favour attacking sides, though the likely cost will be to defence.

"It's a bit early to tell because each of our three games were different, including the two games against the Premiership sides. Certainly the new rules would appear to favour attacking sides, but the key thing for all teams is to hold on to the ball.



TIGHTEN

"If you manage to do that then you will score more points. I think that as new players bind together, defences will tighten up though."

New rules, new team-mates and a new coaching team to work with. It's certainly a fresh start and Boss is fulsome in his praise of the new set-up.

Interestingly both Boss and Leinster's new Coach Joe Schmidt had crossed swords during the earlier part of their careers, but on opposite sides of the fence.

That familiarity, coupled with the arrival of his former Ulster colleague Ed O'Donoghue over the summer, has helped the transition.

"I wouldn't have known Joe personally but I had played against sides that he had coached in the early part of my career and I was well aware of the reputation that he was forging before his move to Clermont (Auvergne).

"Having Ed here too has definitely helped because we know each other so well, but I'm lucky in that I would have played with a number of Leinster guys either with Ireland or Ireland 'A' over the years. There are lots of young guys who have come up through the Academy this summer and we're all trying to familiarise ourselves with the systems."

Talk of Ireland leads to the inevitable desire of Boss to force his way back into the international set-up.

"Of course playing for Ireland remains a big goal for me. If I can get into the Ireland squad then great, but I haven't been involved for a few years so my priority is to try and impress for Leinster."

First and foremost, he is keen to force his way into the provincial squad and he's keen to build on last weekend's debut in Glasgow ahead of the arrival of an in-form Cardiff Blues.

"I know from my time with Ulster how good Cardiff are. They will try to attack and use their big ball carriers and powerful midfield players to good effect. In Dan Parks they have an accomplished kicker who will punish any mistakes that we make. So it's vital that we are disciplined.



BUZZ

"Personally I'm really excited about playing in The RDS and it will be a huge buzz because you know that you're going to get another passionate crowd and a good surface to play on. As an opponent you always knew that you were coming into a good rugby environment in The RDS and it will be a nice change to have the crowd roaring you on for once there!

"It will be another big step up for us and we know that come Saturday we have to be ready."

Boss is certainly ready. Ready and waiting.


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