Monday 20 November 2017

Leinster confirm Maori All Blacks signing as Mick Kearney facing up to six months on sidelines

Leinster signing Hayden Triggs in action for the Blues
Leinster signing Hayden Triggs in action for the Blues Newsdesk Newsdesk

As first revealed by the Irish Independent, Leinster have confirmed the signing of Maori All Blacks lock Hayden Triggs, while Mick Kearney is facing an extended period on the sidelines.

Triggs has signed a contract with the province until the end of the season and will arrive tomorrow having been granted a work permit.

The 33-year-old Wellington has been capped nine times by the Maori All Blacks and has played a total of 64 Super Rugby games for the Hurricanes, the Highlanders, the Chiefs and most recently the Blues where he was capped 24 times since joining in 2014. Prior to joining the Auckland Blues he played with Honda Heat in Japan.

"Hayden brings a wealth of experience to the squad at a time when we have a large chunk of our squad away at the Rugby World Cup," head coach Leo Cullen said today. "We look forward to welcoming him into the group in the next day or so.”

The second row will be familiar with some of his new colleagues having played against them in the 2007 Churchill Cup and again in the 2010 Centenary Series. Triggs played against the likes of Mike Ross, John Fogarty, Sean Cronin and Johnny Sexton in the Maori All Blacks 50-22 win over the Ireland Wolfhounds in 2007.

He also played in the 2010 Centenary Series against Ireland, which again the Maori All Blacks won 31-28 in a game that Johnny Sexton scored 23 points from the boot.

It comes as the news that Mick Kearney may not return to action until next February after suffering a toe injury on club duty.

"Mick returned to play with Clontarf the weekend before last and unfortunately has injured his toe again," Cullen confirmed. "He has had surgery and will be out until the New Year. It is a terrible blow for Mick personally who has applied himself brilliantly since his arrival and was performing very well in training.

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