Novem­ber a chance for Le­in­ster ty­ros to shine, reck­ons Byrne

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY/WORLD OF SPORT -

If Novem­ber brings es­tab­lished stars an op­por­tu­nity to press their in­ter­na­tional cases, it is just as ex­cit­ing and piv­otal for those a rung lower on the rugby lad­der.

Le­in­ster face South­ern Kings in South Africa on Sun­day with seven academy play­ers among the trav­el­ling party and loose­head prop Ed Byrne, whose ca­reer progress has been slowed by in­jury, says those out­side the reg­u­lar starters clam­our for this shop win­dow to come round.

“This month is a huge op­por­tu­nity. Peo­ple have been hun­gry for it to come around. To get some good game-time. It’s a mas­sive chance for some of the younger lads to put their hands up and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to this block.

“I’m just try­ing to get as much game-time here as I can. The loose­head po­si­tion is ob­vi­ously un­be­liev­ably com­pet­i­tive, so we’re all just hun­gry to get game-time and hun­gry to im­prove.

“The group has changed a lot in the last three weeks. There is a mas­sive hunger. There is a bit of a buzz around the place. It’s a few lads’ first time down in South Africa, so I think peo­ple are very hun­gry to get game-time and make the most of it.”

Le­in­ster have Ire­land in­ter­na­tional Dan Leavy avail­able, af­ter the flanker was re­leased by Joe Sch­midt to join fel­low se­niors Scott Fardy, Dave Kear­ney and Michael Bent in Port El­iz­a­beth. There are also three un­capped academy play­ers: Scott Penny (flanker), Jimmy O’brien (cen­tre) and Ro­nan Kelle­her (hooker).

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