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Last season Cian Healy had played nine Leinster matches before the end of the calendar year. This week brings Northampton in the first of Leinster’s back-to-back Champions Cup fixtures and Healy has played three games with his club for a total of 169 minutes.
Injury-free, he will line out next week at the Aviva Stadium for the return match against the Premiership side. The Irish loosehead prop recognises a different rhythm for the Leinster campaign this year, one that has heavily relied on many of the players who will not make the plane to Franklin’s Gardens this weekend.
It could be a touchy subject within the squad as players filter back in from Ireland assuming starting places straight away. But there’s a rule in Leinster, unwritten. Hotwired to the arguably brutalising system of weekly selection, it is don’t feel sorry for yourself, don’t carry negativity.
Hard-hearted. Healy is assuming nothing.
“We came in to train first,” he says. “We didn’t come in just to jump into a position. We had to work into game minutes and that was the pressure that was there.
“That’s a great thing because it speaks volumes of the squad here that everyone’s standard across the board has been so high that no one has stepped in and is guaranteed a position.”
Healy has had to learn to work more closely with hooker Ronan Kelleher, who has had an awakening this sea
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