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20.26 16 Dec 2017


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Leo Cullen's rise to the top job at Leinster has been moulded by his time at Leicester, according to Keith Wood.

The former Irish captain was a guest on The Saturday Panel on Off the Ball as they discussed the former Ireland international's rise in the game. 

"I think he is more relaxed in himself because he got the job early which I think is great. We seem to be very quick at slinging mud and saying 'ah that's too early - we'll get someone from overseas in straight away.' It's quite funny because I think Stuart Lancaster in many respects, and I know he's under a fair amount of pressure at the moment -Northampton are definitely looking at him and people are able to recognise the skills he has.

"The guy built up a team over a period of time and knows them at different age groups. He's a really good coach in terms of that and he likes coaching. I would have said I didn't know if Stuart Lancaster was a head coach and he became the head coach of England so he got that very early. 

"In terms of the technicality, Leo is, I mean I was in squads with Leo with Ireland and he didn't get picked. I don't know how many caps he got as it was - that's because he had great guys ahead of him  - he was pure graft. 

"He went to Leicester and when he came back from Leicester - he brought back that kind of nasty edge of the Johnson and Cockerill and all that group - that was the way that they played. That was brilliant at the time when we talked about Leinster's backs being flash and fantastic - he brought back that pure edge that was really needed. 

"And, people often dismiss Leo but he's a pretty big brain, he's very, very capable and he understands the sense of it. I think it's much better for him to have a really good coach so he's almost like a director of rugby-type role and it's great and it suits him," he added.

The full discussion can be heard here:

How his time at Leicester shaped Leo Cullen's Leinster

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

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