Cullen will have the backing of everyone as Leinster head coach – Toner

December 12, 2022 0 By JohnValbyNation

Updated 11.45

DEVIN TONER HAS pledged his support for Leo Cullen as his former teammate was appointed as Leinster’s head coach on a permanent basis.

Toner (centre) helped Leinster launch their new home and alternate kits. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Ireland lock says he and his provincial teammates have confidence that Cullen and a coaching ticket of Girvan Dempsey, Kurt McQuilkin, John Fogarty and Richie Murphy have the ability to guide Leinster through what promises to be a difficult time.

It’s understood that Leinster had moved to make Cullen permanent head coach earlier this summer, before IRFU performance director David Nucifora expressed his concerns about the promotion and how well planned it had been.

However, Nucifora has signed off on the deal – as he must do with every professional player and coaching contract in Ireland – and Leinster have confirmed Cullen’s appointment on a two-year deal.

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McQuilkin, a former Ireland international centre, has also had his short-term contract extended out to a duration of two years.

“There’s a really good team there that know the players. John and Girv know all the young players and they’re going to step up the mark when a lot of guys are gone to the World Cup. I think Leo has put in place a really good structure and from what I’ve heard training’s been going really well.

“Kurt has come in and brought back in his defensive drills, so from what I’m hearing everything’s going great here.”

Cullen with the Leinster squad this summer. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Toner has been focusing on preparing for the World Cup with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland for the bulk of the summer, although the national squad have broken up to train with their provinces this week.

As such, Toner has been able to catch up on the positive sentiments among the Leinster squad about Cullen’s impact as head coach.

After a disappointing 2014/15 season in which they failed to make the Guinness Pro12 play-offs, Leinster know they must respond strongly in the upcoming campaign.

“A big chunk of us will be gone (for the World Cup) and when we do come back in it’ll be straight back into things. It will be a difficult season, but everyone’s looking forward to it.”

To celebrate the launch of the new 2015/16 season Leinster jersey, Canterbury has announced the biggest collection of money can’t buy prizes and experiences in the club’s history. Fans are being asked to prove why they are Leinster’s most committed fan on Canterbury’s Facebook page or by tweeting using #CommittedToLeinster.

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