Leinster team manager Guy Easterby believes that picking up wins during the Six Nations period will play an important part in determining how the province’s season pans out
Leinster came through a tough away tie against Cardiff Blues last Thursday evening, claiming all five points on offer thanks to tries from debutant Jack Conan, Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent and Eoin Reddan.
The Arms Park success was their third bonus point win in a row and with Glasgow Warriors the visitors to the RDS on Saturday night, Guy Easterby is hoping that run can continue.
“I think these periods are always really important. We’re obviously without a good few lads involved with the national squad but it’s also a great opportunity for some of the other players to get some experience,” he said.
“We’ve done well in this period in the past and that’s proved important towards the end of the season.
“To be where we are at the moment with three wins out of three, that’s pleasing but we’ve got a home game to come (against Glasgow) and they’re always huge games because you can’t really afford to lose your home games either.”
There were no ill-effects from the Cardiff encounter, while the players released from the Ireland camp – including Martin Moore, Jordi Murphy, Fergus McFadden, Sean Cronin and Jack McGrath – also trained as normal on Monday.
Kevin McLaughlin, who suffered a broken nose when captaining the province against the Blues, has however been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Glasgow.
The back rower had a procedure yesterday in St. Vincent’s Hospital and is expected to be back in contention for the Zebre match at the end of March.
After two short turnarounds between Leinster’s last two outings, the eight days between Cardiff away and Glasgow at home should give some tired bodies the chance to rest and recuperate.
Easterby added: “The longer turnaround has probably been helpful because we’ve had a couple of short turnarounds with the squad shorn of most of our international players.
“It won’t have done us any harm but it’s all about getting the processes right this week for what is a really big game against Glasgow. As you can see, the top of the table is very congested and these games against the other guys in the top five are massively important to us.”
With things tight at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table – and five teams currently fighting for the four play-off spots – Glasgow, who are in fifth, will be just as eager as second-placed Leinster to secure a victory under the RDS floodlights.
“This game is a particularly big one for us with the table and how that lies, and the fact that it’s a home game. We’re really intent on making sure we win those home games because they’re crucial when it comes to the mix at the end of the year,” insisted the former Leinster and Ireland scrum half.
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