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In Pics: Leinster Press Conference

In Pics: Leinster Press Conference

Click here for photos of Leinster’s press conference ahead of their Magners League trip to Llanelli.

Pictured above: Leinster coach Michael Cheika, who will be hoping his side can claim their second win in the space of seven days against Llanelli on Saturday, will have his selection options boosted over the coming weeks.

He explained: “Niall Ronan has recovered from a bruised hip and is available for selection. I would say that (Gordon) D’Arcy and possibly even Malcolm O’Kelly could be right for next week (against Connacht), along with the likes of Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Horgan who should come back into the squad.

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“Cameron Jowitt is also back in contact training. But I want to make it clear that I’m ‘anti’ the thought that if we don’t have certain players available then we won’t win. Equally, just because we have all those players back doesn’t mean that we can expect to win.”

The scene at Old Wesley RFC as Cheika and prop Will Green talk to the assembled reporters. Green was sin-binned late on in last week’s 16-9 defeat of Cardiff – luckily for Leinster they held on for their first victory of the league campaign. He said of the incident: “I was carded for something innocuous like taking a guy out at the side of a ruck. I do that 10 times a game.

“It’s a contact sport, you just get on with it. Our discipline has been a positive this year and we need to keep it good this weekend in Llanelli.”

Cheika is looking for his players to up their concentration levels at Stradey Park as they seek a rare win on Welsh soil. He said: “Sometimes our handling can suffer because players are focusing on the right positioning so there’s a danger of over-cooking which can lead to errors. I mean, we can catch the ball – it’s not something that we can’t do – but we must improve our concentration.

We’ve got to build on the aggression that we have shown in the games so far, but I have been pleased with our defence.

“Llanelli have been playing well and they must be near favourites for the title. We will need to be physical over there at Stradey and if we make mistakes, we won’t win. They will look to try to shut down (Felipe) Contepomi and we’ll need to be at our best to win.”

Ireland ‘A’ centre Kieran Lewis, who has been partnering Australian Michael Berne in Leinster’s midfield this season, is determined to take his chance with the majority of the province’s Ireland internationals still in pre-season mode.

The Dubliner said: “It does enter your mind that there are certain people coming back into the squad. But that’s the way it has to be. A squad has to have competition. If you’re always feeling that you have the position sewn up, then you won’t play to your best.

“For any game, you have to be focused on that game alone. You’ve only got a certain number of chances and you have to take them.”

**All photos by Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**