Contepomi hopes Harry Byrne can build upon international experiences

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Leinster backs coach Felipe Contepomi has said that he expects fly-half, Harry Byrne to further grow as a player as the province’s coaches prepare him for a successful future.

Byrne suffered a hip injury in his first game of the season against Zebre Parma at the RDS and only returned in blue when he made a cameo in last weekend’s loss to Ulster.

His latest injury came immediately after he had made a recovery from his previous setback in the form of a foot injury.

In that time, he joined the Ireland camp for the Autumn Nations Series and played 30 minutes in the 53-7 win over Argentina but was not at his best.

Contepomi has sympathy for the 22-year-old who will hope to avoid another setback as he looks to get significant game time under his belt this season.

“Sometimes it’s the way it is, you know, if you have some injuries,” the assistant coach said. “He’s been very unlucky in terms of injuries – he’s picked up some strange injuries.

“But he’s now fit and he’s been in the Ireland camp for the last month and now he’s with us for last week and this week so hopefully he can have more games or more game time.”

The Ireland-capped fly-half has only played 38 minutes for Leinster this season, with his season debut against Zebre ending just 22 minutes in.

His cameo against Ulster saw him enter the field with Leinster’s backs against the wall and the prospect made several mistakes as Leo Cullen’s men registered their first defeat of the United Rugby Championship.

However, he is only 22 and, with the experience that he already has under his belt at both provincial and international level, Contepomi believes he can continue to learn and tap into his potential.

On top of this, he hopes that Byrne is preparing himself for success as he plays more and more matches in blue and green.

“That’s what we are trying to do, trying to set him up to be successful. So hopefully he can improve and take the experience he is getting also at international level, or more at international training [and build from it].

“It’s always important to be at an international camp,” the 87-cap former Argentine number 10 said.

“You learn so much from such good players so hopefully he can bring it into Leinster and keep building his game.”

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