Schmidt happy with Leinster pre-season preparations

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 Jul 2012


Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt believes his team is starting to take shape ahead of the RaboDirect PRO12 season.


The squad is a month into a tough pre-season schedule and will be finalised when new signings Quinn Roux, Andrew Goodman and Michael Bent complete their southern hemisphere commitments in time for the start of the RaboDirect PRO12 campaign. 

“Quinn Roux will be involved with the Stormers as they prepare for the Super 15 semi-final,” said Schmidt.

“Michael Bent and Andrew Goodman will be arriving at the club once their seasons are finished in New Zealand.”

Roux, 21, is a second row who is known for his aggressive style of play has signed a one-year deal while 29-year-old utility back Andrew Goodman joins the Irish region on a one-year deal with the option of a further year. 

Tight-head prop Bent, 25, arrives from the Hurricanes and will provide the RaboDirect PRO12 losing finalists with some excellent front-row competition.  

Highly-rated lock Tom Denton, who was signed from Leeds in the summer, has already impressed Schmidt in pre-season.

“Denton has fitted in really well,” he added. “He has got good balance about him and he is throwing some heavy tin around in the weights room.”

Schmidt expects the new signings along with the academy players to blend in with a squad accustomed to success.

“The guys in the academy are settling in really well and we have re-signed 19 players from last season. We have got a very tight-knit group who are ‘Leinster’ men.

“They are working really hard at the moment and this is exactly what we want.”

The reigning European champions have recently moved into a new high performance training unit at University College Dublin.

The partnership will see Leinster move their training, conditioning and administration to UCD’s Belfield campus and Schmidt is pleased with the state-of-the-art facilities available to his side.

“The complex at UCD is phenomenal and is a world-class establishment,” he said. “It is now a challenge for us to be as world-class as we can be on the pitch.

“It is great to have everyone in the same building from the management to the commercial side of the club.”