Monday 15 October 2018

Rob Kearney: 'It's tough, but there's no reason why we can't win nine from nine again'

Rob Kearney poses for a portrait after a Leinster Rugby Press Conference at the InterContinental Hotel, in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Rob Kearney poses for a portrait after a Leinster Rugby Press Conference at the InterContinental Hotel, in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Rob Kearney says Leinster are more than capable of repeating the feat of winning all of their Heineken Champions Cup games en route to retaining their title.

The full-back was named in a formidable line-up for tomorrow night's opener against Wasps at the RDS.

Leo Cullen admitted that there was a lot of disappointment among the likes of Rhys Ruddock and Fergus McFadden who were left out of the 23-man match-day squad for the game.

Seán O'Brien is on the bench alongside Wallabies Scott Fardy and Joe Tomane, with James Lowe named to start and Jamison Gibson-Park missing out with an ankle injury.

Last season they won all of their pool matches en route to winning the final against Racing 92.

And Kearney sees no reason why they can't do it again.

"It's tough to do, but there's no reason why we can't," he said.

"You set out at the start of the year to win trophies and that's your goal as a team of course.

"To do that, chances are, you are going to have to win nine games in a row. So, listen, it's doable but it's more important to win one from one first."

Cullen accepted that this was as tough a selection as he's had since taking over as coach.

"It's competitive, anyway," he said.

"It depends on how you define tough, but lots of guys disappointed for sure.

"The backroom team have worked incredibly hard to make sure all the players are managed well. A lot of time, effort and care has gone into making sure we have as many players available as possible.

"The work that goes in in the background away from the actual rugby side of things is massive for us.

"With a big group we have and the demands placed that is placed upon them. We hope we've managed the guys well so they're peaking at this time of year."

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