Kevin McLaughlin has this afternoon been confirmed as Leinster’s captain during the upcoming Rugby World Cup period.
Kevin McLaughlin, who has 114 caps for Leinster since his debut in April 2007, has captained the province in the past and led the team out against Edinburgh and Benetton Treviso in last season’s GUINNESS PRO12.
Confirming the news today, Leinster’s newly-appointed head coach Leo Cullen said: “I think this is a great opportunity for Kevin. He had an unlucky run with injuries last season and I know he is very keen to hit the ground running this season.
“This is by no means a new role for him and we saw last season what he brings to the table in terms of his captaincy. He has really driven the environment during the pre-season and he is a great role model for the younger players and indeed the wider squad.”
The 30-year-old St. Mary’s College clubman last played for Leinster in last December’s 21-11 win over Connacht at the RDS but had to come off with a shoulder injury. That same injury required surgery and effectively ruled him out for the season.
Cullen added: “Kevin is a player who leads by example, with little regard for his own body, and he epitomises everything we want to see from a Leinster Rugby team going forward. He is selfless, puts team first and is always driving his own standards as well as the standards of those around him.”
McLaughlin, who has eight Irish caps to date, has won two Heineken Cups with Leinster, starting in both final victories over Northampton Saints and Ulster. He has also won an Amlin Challenge Cup and three PRO12 titles with the province.