Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Leinster full-back Rob Kearney welcomed the arrival of Zane Kirchner and spoke about how the Springbok recruit is settling into to the province’s squad.
Rob Kearney said how settling into a team that is already six games in to their season can be tricky, stating: “I think it’s difficult for him (Zane Kirchner), especially coming to a new team and coming to a squad that’s season has already kicked off and you’re trying to fit in, guys are playing and big matches are coming up.”
Kearney believes the responsibility for making sure that Kirchner finds his feet at Leinster as quickly as possible lies with the players.
“He’s going well, the guys are making an effort with him,” Kearney told the assembled media, as Matt O’Connor’s men gear up to face Castres Olympique in round 2 of the Heineken Cup.
“It’s more important I suppose as the weeks go on that the guys do make an effort with him and take him out for some grub, show him around, take him for coffees.
“Little things like that are going to make a big difference to him. I think the players have a pretty big responsibility to make sure he settles in as best as possible.”
Kearney also spoke about the competition that Kirchner will bring to the squad, with the versatile South African possessing the ability to play at full-back and outside centre or on the wing.
“It’s another body there to add. The fact he’s an international means he’s going to be pushing really hard for a place.”
The addition of Kirchner also adds to the strength of the overall squad, something that will be of benefit with the possibility of injuries over the course of the season.
“You’d always expect to have a couple of injuries throughout the season, but it’s the time when all the guys are fully fit and playing that the coach has some tricky decisions to make,” added the Louth native.