Leinster backing Te’o to shine

Date published: October 31 2014

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Leinster believe cross-code signing Ben Te’o will make a big impact for the province after arriving in Ireland from the NRL.

Leinster believe cross-code signing Ben Te’o will make a big impact for the province after arriving in Ireland from the NRL.

Te’o last played Rugby Union as a teenager but is immersing himself back into the game after swapping Sydney for Dublin.

Regarded as the heir to Brian O’Driscoll’s 13 jersey, Te’o will get a first runout for the senior side in the Pro12 on Friday against Edinburgh.

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor revealed that Te’o has been staying with Ireland brothers Rob and Dave Kearney as he gets back up to speed.

“He’s a little bit down on the nuances of the game but he’s an incredibly fast learner and the more he plays, the better he’ll be,” said O’Connor.

“He’s a very powerful defender, carries the ball incredibly well and we’ll be looking to get him involved in those aspects of the game as often as we can.

“The reality is you’ve got to look at as much rugby union as you can. You’ve got to immerse yourself in it and thankfully he’s been living with Rob and Dave Kearney and we’ll certainly be using every avenue we can to expose him to the game, and look at the game.”

Underlining Te’o’s professionalism, O’Connor praised his new signing’s hunger to learn.

“He’s not going to have any issues physically from a power and endurance perspective. It’s just about understanding the little bits of detail, where to stand and how to impart himself on the game. I mean, he’s a great pro.

“He’s certainly demonstrated that throughout his Rugby League career and he’s got a hunger to work and a hunger to learn as quickly as he can.”

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