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Nacewa extends his Leinster stay

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Sportal.co.nz     21 May 2012     Getty Images

Nacewa told the Irish Times he was enjoying the culture associated with the Leinster team which defended the European championship at the weekend, a fact revealed in the news that almost the entire team has re-signed for at least another season.

"Every single one of us wants to work for one another and not be seen as being lazy.

"Now you can pick out teams that are lazy when you watch them on videos and Joe [Schmidt] has created a culture here that sort of stopped that," he said.

Like Nacewa, Schmidt has spent time in Auckland where he was an assistant coach with the now troubled Blues franchise.

Nacewa, a talented back capable of playing anywhere in the backline other than fullback, is one tradesmanlike players the Blues allowed to get away. What a difference he could have made in this year's Blues team.

Nacewa joined Leinster in 2008 and has shared in its three Heineken Cup successes, firstly under coach Michael Cheika and latterly under Schmidt.

He attributed much of what he had learnt about backplay to Schmidt's three years with the Blues and was not surprised when he was selected as coach by Leinster.

"There were so many guys saying he'd never been a head coach yet the whole of bloody Leinster got a shock when he came on board," he said.

And while Nacewa admitted the non-head coach feeling about Schmidt had crossed his mind he said the time spent at Clermont by Schmidt had allowed him to slip straight into the role.

Central to the development of the side, and its back-up which has proven so effective, has been an attitude of giving the players licence to play.

"With that comes responsibility to look after the ball and I think that's where everyone, old guys and young guys, have taken that responsibility on. You enjoy playing with it but you don't want to be losing the ball all the time," he said.

Nacewa revealed the quality of the backs at Leinster and the way they played had been why he was attracted to the club. He played his 100th game for Leinster last week.

And he's looking forward to two more seasons with the side as they seek new challenges.