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Leinster Gear Up For Wasps Encounter

Leinster Gear Up For Wasps Encounter

The Leinster squad trained in UCD on Easter Monday as preparations began for Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against London Wasps at Adams Park (kick-off 8pm).

Following last Saturday’s physical encounter with provincial rivals Ulster, there were the usual bumps and bruises for the Leinster medical staff to deal with ahead of a short six-day turnaround.

The European clash with London Wasps is the first of three successive away games for Joe Schmidt’s men this month – they are also away to Munster and Zebre in the league.

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Gordon D’Arcy was a late withdrawal for the Ulster game due to illness and he is expected to return to training and will be available for selection this week.

D’Arcy should be joined by Sean O’Brien who was given an extra week to recover from his Six Nations exertions, while Fergus McFadden should also come back into the mix after injury.

Following a scan on Sunday, it has been confirmed that centre Brendan Macken suffered a broken hand during the first half of the 22-18 loss to Ulster.

Macken is expected to be out for up to six weeks in a similar injury suffered recently another Blackrock College man, Jordi Murphy.

Eoin O’Malley, however, should come back into the equation as his ‘return to play’ was managed by the management team after his recent long-term injuries.

Jonathan Sexton has an outside chance of making Thursday’s team announcement, but a return for the Ireland out-half this week is rated as unlikely.

Besides that, there are no other fresh injury concerns for Leinster bar the long-term absentees who will be unavailable.

It is a busy weekend for Leinster on several fronts as the province’s ‘A’ team are also in quarter-final action in the British & Irish Cup and they will face Bristol at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Girvan Dempsey’s charges will be boosted by the availability of several members of Lansdowne’s Ulster Bank League winning panel following their title-clinching win over Clontarf on Saturday.

In the region of 600 supporters will make the trip to High Wycombe on Friday and the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC) have prepared a Supporters Guide for those travelling, in association with Bank of Ireland, which will be available to download this week from www.leinsterrugby.ie.