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Delight as Leinster lads return to training

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Josh van der Flier looked delighted to be back in training

Josh van der Flier looked delighted to be back in training

SPORTSFILE

Josh van der Flier looked delighted to be back in training

Leinster boss and Newtown native Leo Cullen welcomed his squad back to training in UCD on Monday where a mood of giddy excitement was reported.

Like Munster, Leinster returned to limited training having passed their Covid-19 tests.

Groups of seven players were put through their paces in Limerick and Dublin, as both provinces began their preparations ahead of a mouthwatering derby clash on August 22.

Former Wicklow RFC player Josh van der Flier and Leinster and Ireland captain Johnny Sexton were among the large group of returning players, while so too was Cian Healy.

Healy suffered a hip injury during Ireland's last outing against England, but the sight of him running on the training paddock was a further boost to Cullen, who was delighted to see his players again.

'It was great to see some of the faces coming in today,' said the Newtown native.

'With that date of August 22, we've some time to be slow and gradual.

'On the flip slide, it won't be too long before it comes around and we're all very excited about that prospect.

'You see sport in general has had its significant challenges during this period.

'Slowly but surely we're getting there, it's nice to see other sports back up and running to various different levels.

'You see some of the soccer in the UK, it's been great seeing Super Rugby with crowds, that's the opposite end of the spectrum, seeing crowds in those games going off well, I understand the situation in New Zealand is different in terms of public health.

'Hopefully the country stays on the current trajectory in terms of the number of cases which is coming down all the time. That's encouraging to see.

'I hope that situation continues to improve all the time and the country is Covid-free pretty soon, but again I know a huge amount of work has to go into that as well.'

Wicklow People