Leinster 24-8 Clermont Auvergne, Heineken Cup, December 20
Cullen salutes 'phenomenal' Healy
ESPNscrum Staff
December 20, 2010
Leinster's Cian Healy makes a break, Saracens v Leinster, Heineken Cup, Wembley Stadium, London, England, October 16, 2010
Ireland prop Cian Healy has been in fine form for Leinster this season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Leo Cullen | Cian Healy
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Leinster skipper Leo Cullen believes team-mate Cian Healy has the ability to become one of the best props in world rugby.

Healy notched two tries in the province's impressive 24-8 over Clermont Auvergne on Saturday, just a week after being dropped for the two side's first meeting in France. The 23-year-old loosehead is still viewed by some as a weak scrummager but Cullen believes Healy's potential is there for all to see.

"Cian is a work in progress," the veteran Leinster lock is quoted as saying by the Irish Independent. "He is a phenomenal talent. When his head is in the game he is as good as anyone out there. He is a younger guy. It is easier to drift (mentally), but when he is clued in to the game he is a phenomenal performer.

"I believe he has the ability to become one of the best in the position in the world. It is about how far Cian wants to go with it himself.

"He was pretty p*ssed off he didn't start the game last week and he probably expected to (start) coming off the autumn Internationals.

"Heinke (van der Merwe) is a serious operator for us as well and he was unlucky to miss out this week. Having that competition is a motivating factor for players. Cian is far from the finished article but he has world-class ability."

Cullen was also full of praise for Mike Ross, who played an integral role in Leinster's dominance of the set-piece.

"Mike didn't get many opportunities for us last year but he is the man for us this year," he said of the former Harlequins tight-head.

"He has been around the block for a while. He didn't get much recognition in Ireland because he went to England, but he was schooled under Deano (Dean Richards) and John Kingston for four or five years and that is paying dividends.

"It was a great learning ground for him and he has gone through that grind of playing 25-30 games a season. Now that has stood to him. He didn't get many opportunities for us last year but he is the man for us this year."

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