WHILE THE EXPECTATION is that Leinster will carefully manage their primary resources this week ahead of the start of the Heineken Champions Cup, the return of three Ireland internationals will boost the eastern province for Munster.
Dan Leavy, James Ryan and Jack McGrath will all train at Donnybrook today and fitness permitting, are set to be available for selection for Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 inter-pro at the Aviva Stadium [KO 6pm, eir Sport/Premier Sports].
Leavy is back in training this week. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Both Leavy and Ryan suffered head injuries in the round four victory over Dragons at the RDS but have come through the return to play protocols ahead of a crunch block of fixtures for Leo Cullen’s side.
McGrath, meanwhile, has recovered from the knee injury he suffered in training at the start of this month and having stepped up his on-field rehabilitation last week, could be in line to make his first appearance of the season this weekend.
There was also a positive update on Sean O’Brien after the flanker came through his long-awaited comeback from hip and shoulder injuries in Saturday’s victory over Connacht unscathed.
O’Brien was introduced off the bench slightly earlier than expected at the Sportsground following an injury to Rhys Ruddock, who is a doubt for this weekend with a hip problem.
Both Ruddock and Jordan Larmour will be assessed as the week progresses, but with Leinster’s Pool 1 opener against Wasps just around the corner, it’s unlikely either will be pushed for the visit of Munster.
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Indeed, O’Brien’s return to fitness, and that of Leavy’s, bolsters Cullen’s options in the back row ahead of the games against Munster, Wasps and Toulouse, with Josh van der Flier named man of the match for his immense shift in Galway.
Ian Nagle joins the list of unavailable players after being removed during the first half of Leinster A’s victory over Ospreys Development in the Celtic Cup last Friday with a head injury.
Ciarán Frawley, meanwhile, reported no ill effects from his injury comeback in that game at Donnybrook, with the out-half back to full fitness after the arm problem he suffered during pre-season.
Will Connors [ACL], Barry Daly and Tom Daly [both knee] remain long-term absentees.
Off the back of three consecutive Pro14 victories, Leinster are bidding to maintain their strong record at the Aviva Stadium in round six, ahead of the start of their European defence with the visit of Wasps on Friday 12 October.
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