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In Pics: Leinster In Training

In Pics: Leinster In Training

Click here for photos of the Leinster squad in training ahead of their pre-season trip to Dax in south west France next week.

Pictured above: Leinster coach Michael Cheika talks to his players at pre-season training in Dublin on Friday. The province have two games scheduled before the start of the Magners League next month – they are due to take on French side Dax (away) on Wednesday, August 16 and face London Irish (in senior and ‘A’ games) at Donnybrook on Friday, August 25.

Hooker Bernard Jackman prepares to throw in at a lineout.

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Leinster assistant coach David Knox and senior squad newcomer Luke Fitzgerald in jovial mood.

Australian international scrum half Chris Whitaker practices his passing. The 31-year-old, who has recently settled in Dublin with his wife Alison and daughters Lily Rose (4) and Jasmine (3), has already taken youngster Cillian Willis under his wing.

Whitaker said: “We call it the triangle – Guy (Easterby), Cillian and myself are training partners. I’d hope to be of some help with the young guys. It’s something we did quite a lot at New South Wales, that kind of mentoring role. You grab someone and bring them along.”

Powerful South African Harry Vermaas, who can play in all three positions across the front row, goes through some lineout drills.

Recent signing Stephen Keogh collects a lineout throw.

Former Wallaby lock/back fow Owen Finegan eyes up a lineout ball. The 34-year-old, affectionately known as ‘Melon’ due to the size of his head, joined Leinster from the Newcastle Falcons this summer, linking up with Michael Cheika, his former team mate and coach at Randwick.

Ireland ‘A’ back row Des Dillon is back at Leinster after a loan period last season with the Ospreys in Wales.

Michael Cheika surveys the scene at training – Leinster’s opening Magners League game is against Edinburgh Gunners (Murrayfield, 7.30pm) on Friday, September 8.

**All photos by Billy Stickland and Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**