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Molony eyes shirt on Toner's back


Leinster’s Josh van der Flier with Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier with Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier with Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

Journalist: "You're looking for his shirt, aren't you?"

RM: "I suppose you could put it like that, yeah."

Journalist: "It would be great if you would say it like that."

RM: "For me, it's just about developing my own game. I'm still young enough.

"Hopefully, I have a few more years to get the jersey," he smiled back.

Ross Molony is so young and, yet, so ready for whatever comes his way.

The questions are carefully considered and dispatched with calm assurance, even though everything about his game screams out loud that the 21-year-old must want to tear the shirt from Devin Toner's back.

That is the way of a world in which you pull each other apart during the week and pull together at the weekend.

Molony is a lineout caller working with Toner to dissect and disrupt Munster's set-piece on Saturday.

"I try to put the work in early in the week and know the opposition's lineouts and to know where we can win the ball.

"For us, it's about getting a clear plan for everyone so that the eight forwards know exactly what we're doing on an opposition set-up, who's going up and where they're most likely to win the ball. It's getting everyone to know their roles and getting the rewards out of that."

Make no mistake, he is in a hurry to climb the ladder of Irish locks.

Molony has played 16 times for Leinster this season and seen it out to the final whistle on all ten of his starts, most notably against Bath in The Champions Cup.

This alone is a strong statistic that he already has the stamina to go the distance.

"I'm really happy with the game time I've got," he said. "Looking back last year, if you told me I would play as much as I have so far I wouldn't have believed it."


"I looked at this season as two windows.

"I managed to play during the World Cup and Six Nations and get game time in between."

England's Maro Itoje and New Zealand's Brodie Retallick are two men who lead the way of the current generation of super-athletes who can do it all.

"In terms of the basics, catch and pass, you always need to be working on that," he said.

"You shouldn't sacrifice other things for that.

"Looking back at the World Cup, Brodie Retallick for the All Blacks, his passing was the kind of game you want your second rows to be playing."