White set for Leinster start against Scarlets

LEINSTER’S new prop Nathan White has admitted he is in Ireland on a wing and a prayer after leaving Waikato, the recently defeated ITM finalists.

Just a few weeks after figuring on the losing team to Canterbury, White is named for his first start with Leinster against Llanelli Scarlets tonight (6.30 pm) after making an inaugural appearance as a late replacement last weekend.

He is one of three changes in the pack, with Damian Browne lining out alongside Devin Toner and Jordi Murphy in for his first senior start.

The 30-year-old White might not have moved overseas but for the treatment of colleague Aled de Malmanche being told mid-season by a new coaching regime that he would not be wanted for next year.

White admitted that from his point of view, there was no major issue, but that other developments had set him thinking: “The Chiefs were fantastic, there were no issues with the deal there, but obviously seeing what my mate Aled went through when he found out he’d missed out and given the loyalty he’d shown to the Chiefs, you sort of had to wonder,” said White.

“Life’s too short and I decided to move on. If I signed another two years with the Chiefs I’d be 32; that might have been the end of my [playing] days. So I decided it was time to try something different and come over here and see what it’s all about.”

White had made a verbal agreement with the two-time Heineken Cup champions at the end of this year’s Super Rugby season, but didn’t sign the contract until the start of the ITM Cup.

LLANELLI SCARLETS: D Ford, L Williams, N Reynolds, G Maule, A Fenby, D Newton, R Tipuna, I Thomas (captain), E Phillips, R Thomas, A Shingler, D Day, R McCusker, B Moran, J Edwards.

Replacements: C Hawkins, P John, R Jones, D Welch, R Pugh, G Davies, A Thomas, L Williams.

LEINSTER: I Nacewa, F Carr, E O’Malley, L Fitzgerald, D Kearney, I Madigan, C Willis, H van der Merwe, R Strauss, N White, D Browne, D Toner, R Ruddock (captain), L Auva’a, J Murphy.

Replacements: J Harris-Wright, J McGrath, J Hagan, M Flanagan, C Ruddock, J Cooney, B Macken, D Hudson.

Referee: J Lacey (Ireland).

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