Ross Molony claims he is reaping the rewards of gaining knowledge from Leo Cullen's playing career

The 21-year-old has impressed in his debut season for Leinster

BY Daniel Kelly 14:02 Saturday 2 April 2016, 14:02 2 Apr 2016

Ross Molony Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

One of the Leinster players who will hope to make a big impact of the bench against Munster is Ross Molony.

The 21-year-old is among a long line of academy players who have stepped up to the first team this year. The former St. Michael's College star has earned made his debut against Edinburgh last September and has featured for Leo Cullen's side in both domestic and European competition.

Molony started last week's game in Galway against Connacht and is delighted to be part of back-to-back inter-provincial games this season. "I think it's quite exciting. You're playing against players from your own country. You're putting your hand up in the inter-provincial games. These are the big games you want to play in."

With Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy away on international duty throughout the season, Molony spoke to Newstalk Sport about hoping to impress in the team when the Six Nations and World Cup was taking place.

"I looked at the season as two blocks. During the World Cup and then again Six Nations I got opportunities and I got opportunities outside those blocks as well." With Toner returning to the team this weekend, Molony will have to do with a place on the bench.

Leinster stars Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier and Ross Molony were joined by Caoimhe Power (16, Navan RFC) and Sean Dunne (16, Lansdowne FC) at Donnybrook Stadium to mark the launch of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence. 

Leo Cullen's promotion to head coach last year has seen Molony learn directly from Cullen's knowledge of the second row. "I've learned a lot from him, a huge amount of line-out knowledge, especially in defence and getting to understand it. Even the players in the club such as Devin Toner, who has huge experience knowledge, learning from players like that has been brilliant."

"With Dev was away, I was able to call the line-outs, with the chances I got. It's definitely helped me and it's definitely learning every week. Getting these opportunities will stand to me in the future I hope."

Despite Molony's pedigree at underage level for Ireland, he is not expecting a phone call from Joe Schmidt about travelling to South Africa with the senior team. "There is a lot of great talent out there in the second row. I'm only focusing on the moment and not looking that far ahead. I just want to train as well as I can with Leinster and put my hand up for selection." 

Ross was speaking at the launch of Bank of Ireland's Leinster School of Excellence which will run in The King’s Hospital School, Palmerstown in July and August. For more information go to leinsterrugby.ie/soe

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