Toner ready for life without Cullen

Date published: September 9 2014

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Leo Cullen won every prize on offer during his time as Leinster captain but Devin Toner insists he's ready to fill Cullen's boots.

Leo Cullen won every prize on offer during his time as Leinster captain but Devin Toner insists he's ready to fill Cullen's boots.

While Jamie Heaslip took over the Leinster captaincy for the new season, it will be up to Toner to step up in the second row.

The opening game did not exactly to plan as Leinster lost narrowly away at Glasgow in a repeat of last year's Pro12 final.

They will have the chance to put things right this weekend when they welcome Scarlets to the RDS.

And with Cullen having stayed on at Leinster, moving into a coaching role, Toner admits that has made the transition easier.

“With Leo stepping down, there is a gap there,” Toner told the Irish Examiner.

“I think I took last year to step in and run the lineout as I did. I've learned pretty much everything I know off Leo. To have him still around is pretty cool.

“He has brought a little more directness over planning our weeks and planning our lineouts and our strategies. He has slipped into the coach's role seamlessly like I knew he would. There is a lot more responsibility on my shoulders this year to step up.

“I think I'm the heaviest I've ever been. I think I'm the strongest I've ever been as well. Hopefully, that transpires into playing well. We'll see.”

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