Monday 23 September 2019

Leo Cullen wary of 'incredibly dangerous' Connacht

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leo Cullen has warned that the several former Leinster players who are included in Connacht's starting XV for this evening's (7.45) clash at the RDS will be eager to prove a point.

Tom Daly became the latest player to make the (loan) move west earlier this week and while he is not involved against his parent club, the likes of Cian Kelleher, Tom Farrell, Gavin Thornbury and Paul Boyle came through the Leinster system.

Connacht arrive in Dublin in search of their first win in the capital since 2002 and Cullen knows that motivation will not be in short supply.

"There are always players at Connacht who have passed through the doors at Leinster and they have a point to prove, that always makes them incredibly dangerous," the Leinster head coach said.

"We saw first-hand last season when we got beaten 47-10 in the Sportsground what it means to them when they're playing Leinster.

"It was a tough physical challenge earlier this year so yeah, it's a game that has a lot of threat for us always.

"We've had some very close games and some games where we have been well beaten, particularly down in Galway over the last 10 years or so.

"I know a lot of those guys are good, they have gone away and proved themselves in a different environment, had to deal with whatever like the moving around etc, they have all moved for different reasons.

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"When they come back to play Leinster they have a point to prove, always. There is always a bit of a danger in these games, like any week really but there is always something extra special in some of these particular fixtures."

Cullen has rung the changes as the majority of his front-line international players are given the night off.

Connacht, meanwhile, have named a strong starting XV, with the Westerners boosted by the return of Bundee Aki among the replacements.

"These games are massive, we're going to be battling it out for every point," Cullen added.

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