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Importance of a fast start to...
Rugby

Importance of a fast start to the season is key says Stuart Lancaster

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

17:03 11 Aug 2020

Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster said it is very possible for his side to have a perfect season but the most important thing is to get off to a good start against Munster on August 22nd.

The Pro 14 will recommence in two weeks’ time after a five-month postponement due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lancaster already knows his team has a huge task on their hands. Adam Byrne is out for three months due to a hamstring injury; James Ryan is recovering from a dislocated shoulder and Dan Leavy is looking to overcome a knee injury that has kept him out for 17 months.

The Leinster coach is still optimistic that his side will put aside injury worries and focus on the task at hand.

“We’ve got a huge game against Munster. That game itself doesn’t need any motivation from each team. Followed by a huge game against Ulster.

“We then move into the Pro 14 semi-final which is a must win game. We have to win that to get to the final. If we win that, we still have Saracens in the European Cup quarter-final.

“I don’t think we had a bigger start to a season. We have to hit the ground running.

“The only scenario I can liken it to, is a World Cup in September for a Northern Hemisphere team. When we go through our pre-season, then it’s knock-out rugby from the start.”

Lancaster said it is possible for Leinster to maintain an undefeated season despite all the team's injuries. He said the only difference is that Leinster will be playing the best teams right from the start.

“It’s possible to have a perfect season because we won all our games to date. The thing about rugby is you play all the best teams at the end. We will be doing it from the start.

“The best teams are the most motivated. We won’t be targeting or talking about undefeated seasons though, but what we will be targeting is getting as much cohesion as we can before the Munster game.

“Both us and Munster are going to have to fire as many shots as we can against each other to prepare for the other matches to come.”

With all matches set to take place behind closed doors, the Leinster coach said the most important thing is for the players to be mentality and physically ready and not worry about who is watching.

“From the players point of view, having no fans is different, but we spend all our training's with nobody watching. The reality for rugby, no matter who’s watching, you have to be mentally ready.”

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Guinness Pro 14 IRFU Irish Rugby Leinster Leinster Rugby Munster Rugby Munster Rugby Leinster Rugby Pro 14 Rugby Stuart Lancaster

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