Leinster assistant coach Robin McBryde agrees that in the absence of veteran captain Johnny Sexton, players need to “speed up”.
Sexton was injured on Sunday in Dublin’s 41-12 win over Connacht and is suspect for the Six Nations next month.
McBryde explained that the Irish captain had undergone a procedure but did not provide further details about his injury or recovery.
“He had an operation, I can’t tell you what that procedure was, but he had an operation on his cheekbone. “I don’t know when he’ll be back to normal or anything, but it’s over and now it’s up to the medical team to try and put a timeline,” McBryde said at a Leinster media briefing.
“As with any player’s injury, you feel it for the player involved, but that’s the nature of the sport. These kinds of things happen, but the other side is that someone else has been given the opportunity to intervene and take on that role. We’re lucky to have plenty of cover in that area, so this is an opportunity for players to stand out and make the most of it.
“An actor like Johnny is respected and it goes without saying how successful he is and what a leader he is from start to finish. A winner from start to finish. This is an opportunity for someone to step into that space now.”
Sexton is a key part of the Leinster team and his experience makes him a valuable leader in the group. However, McBryde wants the other players to fill the gap left halfway through and “step up” as he steps aside.
“By the nature of Johnny, he is a winner and very vocal. It will put a little more pressure on other people to take on and take the leadership role. It’s more of a shared workload, I don’t mean it in a bad way. We just have to take a step.
“What happened, we have to move on now. You have to be so cruel. You can’t dwell on anything, you have to say ‘right’ and move on.”
Tough Ospreys challenge
Leinster face the Ospreys this weekend and McBryde believes it will be a tough fight as the Welsh team finds their progress late despite the odds in his team’s favour.
“They turned a corner, didn’t they? They’re very good on a set basis. I think their attacks are a huge weapon for them. They are huge, but also very physical. They’ve had some great victories lately. Montpellier on the way [in the Champions Cup].
“The two derbies in Wales always nip anyway, but to win in the Blues [was impressive]. The blues have also shown some form lately. It was great to leave there with a win. They will rejoice with all these results. They’re going to be a big test for us this weekend,” said McBryde.
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United Rugby Championship: Leinster assistant McBryde expects players to ‘speed up’ in Johnny Sexton’s absence first appeared on Planetrugby.com.