Leinster assistant coach Robin McBryde is looking forward to working with new head coach Jacques Nienaber’s innovation.

Former South Africa head coach Nienaber won the Rugby World Cup in France recently – and will formally join Leinster for next week’s United Rugby Championship fixture with Munster.

A substitutes bench comprising seven forwards and one backline player was one of the tactics deployed by Nienaber and Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus during the World Cup. South Africa benefitted from the inclusion of utility forward Deon Fourie, who played hooker and loose forward.

“I’d never seen it before – the seven-one split. It is unusual, but I think we’re going to see it again,” said McBryde.

“I like the split he has got on the bench, the number of forwards he has got on there. Yeah, like I said there are going to be interesting discussions over the table over styles of play as well.

“In fairness to him Nienaber, when you look at Fourie, the flanker who played hooker for them, when you look at the injuries that Ireland had in that international against Scotland, you ended up with Josh van der Flier throwing the ball in.

“Scott Penny does the same role for us here. Having that ability to play in different positions I think is key. You’ve got to have the ability to be able to fill in those places, especially in the front row.”

Leinster currently occupy second position on the URC points table after three wins in four matches. They will face seventh-placed Munster, who are the reigning champions. Nienaber worked with Munster as a defence coach before joining the Springboks.

“It is just a very exciting period, a very exciting place to be from a coach’s point of view, expecting Jacques to be coming in and adding his bits to what’s already going on here,” added McBryde.

“Obviously he is familiar with Irish rugby having had the experience with Munster. You know he is a little bit further down the road than other coaches.”

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