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Easterby and Henry helping me hit the next level, says Dunleavy

By Adam McKendry

Ulster Academy flanker Joe Dunleavy has praised the impacts of coach Simon Easterby and fellow back rower Chris Henry on his development.

Former flanker Easterby, who is now coaching with Ireland, is currently in an interim role with Ulster while they wait for new head coach Dan McFarland to arrive, while Henry is forwards coach at Dunleavy's club Malone.

And the Letterkenny native, who was back at the club he played for as a youth with Ulster for an open training session, says the experience he's received from both has been invaluable.

"(Easterby) actually helped us out with the Under-20s so I knew him before he came here, so it's nice to see someone I know on the coaching squad and he's been a massive help since he's came," Dunleavy enthused. "He's brought that national experience and he's bought into the squad.

"It's good to work out with (Henry) during the day and then in the evening he's out helping at the club, so it's good to train with him and get coached by him at the same time. He's a good guy."

After featuring heavily in France for the Irish U20s, Dunleavy is now aiming to emulate the likes of Greg Jones, Aaron Hall and Nick Timoney, who all made regular contributions in the senior squad last season despite being Academy players.

"A lot of guys my age have already got their caps so you never know, (my debut) could be just around the corner," said Dunleavy.

"I have a lot of personal goals to do with my own work-ons, but game-wise hopefully I can get a cap or get involved somehow, not just playing but making an impact in the squad and helping as much as I can."

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