Over 1,200 supporters packed into Mullingar RFC on Monday evening as the Leinster squad began the first of their provincial visits ahead of the start of the new season.
Supporters from the midlands and beyond got autographs, photos and chatted away with the Leinster players after their training session in the impressive facility at Mullingar RFC.
There was also a special presentation by the squad of a signed jersey and picture to the club which will strengthen ties as the province readies itself for another exciting campaign.
The Mullingar visit was a homecoming of sorts for recently-installed Leinster coach Joe Schmidt who spent a year with the Westmeath outfit in the early 1990s.
Commenting on the squad’s provincial visits, Leinster team manager Guy Easterby said: “I know from experience that the training trips to different venues around Leinster are enjoyable affairs for players and supporters alike.
“All three clubs we’re going to are progressive and ambitious, with each boasting excellent training facilities for the squad as we step up our preparations for the new season.
“It isn’t always possible to carry out sessions such as these during the season because of the close proximity of matches and we are all conscious of the large support base that exists across the province.”
Following on from pre-season visits to the likes of Kilkenny, Wicklow, Edenderry, Tullamore, Boyne, Navan, Portlaoise and Malahide in recent years, the Leinster squad will visit three areas ahead of the first pre-season friendly against London Wasps which kicks off at Donnybrook on Friday, August 20 (kick-off 7pm).
The sessions are free to enter and open for all.
Click here to view LTV’s video footage from Monday’s training stint in Mullingar.
LEINSTER’S SUMMER 2010 TRAINING VISITS:
Thursday, August 12: Wexford Wanderers RFC (12 midday)
Monday, August 16: Clondalkin RFC (12 midday)