The Leinster squad trained in UCD yesterday as the province stepped up their preparations for Sunday afternoon’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Zebre at the Stadio del Tricolore (kick-off 4pm local time/3pm Irish time).
There were several injury concerns arising from last Saturday’s derby victory over Munster in Limerick, with David Kearney set for a spell on the sidelines after being knocked unconscious midway through the second half.
Kearney was released from hospital on Sunday morning and will follow the return to play guidelines for head injury.
Gordon D’Arcy suffered a mild calf strain in the opening minutes of the game, but it is hoped that the Ireland centre will be available for the trip to Italy next weekend, while second row Quinn Roux (dead leg) should also be back in the frame.
Try scorer Brian O’Driscoll suffered cramp during his comeback from suspension but he was fit to finish the game, while Sean O’Brien received treatment to a cut above his left eye which required stitches.
Neither knock is expected to prevent either international from missing out on selection ahead of Friday’s team announcement.
The province expect to have Fergus McFadden and Jonathan Sexton available, although this weekend’s game is set to come a week too soon for young back rower Jordi Murphy as he recovers from a broken hand.
Heinke van der Merwe (knee) continues to receive treatment, while Eoin O’Malley is doubtful but making progress after his long term knee injury.
Sunday’s fixture will raise money for the provinces of Emilia and Lombardia which were affected by an earthquake last year. The match will also be the first ever played at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore in Reggio Emilia.
Meanwhile, close to 16,000 tickets have now been sold for Leinster’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Biarritz Olympique at the RDS on Saturday, April 27 (kick-off 2.30pm). Tickets are selling fast and supporters can purchase tickets on www.leinsterruby.ie.