Connacht head coach Eric Elwood is looking forward to taking on Leinster, but he will have to prepare his squad without a number of the players who were involved in last weekend’s defeat to the Ospreys.
Commenting on the injury concerns, Eric Elwood said: “We’re limited as to what we can do this week with the number of injuries we have carried over from last weekend.
“We didn’t train on Monday to give the guys an extra day’s recovery and we’ll have to see what we have to work with during the week.
“Gavin (Duffy) and Tiernan O’Halloran have both been down to Ennis to the cryotherapy centre there to help accelerate the healing following bangs.
“James Loxton is going to see a knee specialist, he took a knock last weekend and is unlikely to be available for selection for this Saturday’s match.
“Mark McCrea returned to training following an ankle injury, so we’re hopeful he’ll be available and Dave Moore also returned today.
“Miah (Nikora) is still out with a stress fracture to his fibula but he’s making good progress and we expect him to be back in time for the Cardiff game.”
He added: “Andrew Browne took a setback in his rehabilitation. It looks like he’ll have to go for surgery on his Achilles so he’s out for another bit and George Naoupu is hoping to be back in action against Cardiff.”
Elwood’s charges fell from third to fourth in the league table after a 26-21 reversal at the hands of the Ospreys in Swansea last Friday.
He hinted that he may call on some of the Connacht Under-20 players who starred in the province’s Interprovincial title success in recent weeks.
“We’re very light in the backs at the moment. We’ll have to see how some of the guys pull through during the week but we’ve no issue going to the Under-20 squad if we need to,” he explained.
“That’s a positive for us, to be able to show faith in those young lads is great. We’ll have to see where we are and what positions we need cover in before making any decisions.
“We’re looking forward to playing in front of a large crowd, Leinster are a well supported team, the European champions, and the interprovincial matches are always exciting.
“The RDS is a nice place to play rugby, it’s quite tight, and no doubt we’ll have a bit of extra support for Connacht there this year.”
The Connacht Rugby Supporters Club are running a bus from Galway to the RDS for the 5pm kick-off on Saturday. The bus will leave Busker Brownes at 12.30pm and return 30 minutes after the final whistle.
The package costs €;45 (€;30 match ticket). To book your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Connacht Branch Office on tel: (091) 561568.