Isa Nacewa reveals four young Leinster players to watch this season
Ones to watch. Four, to be exact.
Each new season brings fresh hope, giddy expectations and wild predictions.
The players and coaches are conservative enough but just try and stop the fans. The Guinness PRO12 kicks off this weekend and a host of young players will get the chance to prove they belong in the deep waters.
In the coming weeks, international players will be fed back into first team rotation. It is the job of the young guns to make enough of an impression to hang around all season and not just when Joe Schmidt summons 40-odd souls to Carton House to plot Southern Hemisphere downfalls.
Leinster captain Isa Nacewa perked up at the recent PRO12 launch when asked about the young players that had impressed in pre-season and who should make a mark in the coming months. He told us:
"The young guys are maybe not so much letting their voices be heard but their actions are getting them noticed.
"Tom Daly has been supreme in the last two games. Barry Daly has come in off the back of a successful UCD and Ulster Bank League campaign. He has come in, grabbed his opportunity and has run faster than every other back on the training field.
"Guys like Peter Dooley and Ross Molony, who got exposed [to action] a lot last year, have picked it up a notch. That can only be good for us as a whole squad... Those lads are pushing everybody for competition. It is like that for every spot."
As for more experienced heads at Leinster this season, Nacewa is pleased to have Ian Nagle - 'a quiet guy that just gets on with it' - and Niall Morris - 'when he is fit and flying, he's one of the miost deceptive backs you can play against' - on board.
As for Kiwi scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, who was recruited from the Hurricanes, Nacewa just smiles. "Wait and see."
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