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Crunch Clash Comes Too Soon For O’Brien And Healy

Crunch Clash Comes Too Soon For O’Brien And Healy

After training yesterday in UCD, Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has issued a squad update ahead of the final European Champions Cup, Pool 2 game against Wasps at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

While Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy trained again this morning, given the nature of the injuries (shoulder reconstruction and a severe hamstring injury) the Leinster management have decided not to risk either player this weekend and instead the next home game against the Newport Gwent Dragons on February 15 is their focus.

Similarly, Rhys Ruddock and Zane Kirchner are both making good progress from arm and lower leg injuries and all going well, are also expected back for the visit of the Dragons.

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Ben Te’o has taken a full part in training this week having reported discomfort to his ribs after the GUINNESS PRO12 game against Cardiff Blues and is available for selection this weekend having missed last weekend’s win over Castres at the RDS.

Rob Kearney, Tadhg Furlong and Michael Bent (pictured below) all sat out Monday’s outdoor training but returned today to full training and are also available for selection at the weekend.

Speaking ahead of the crunch trip to Coventry, prop Bent said: “There’s a pretty good feeling in the camp after a good win at the weekend, we’re all pretty happy with that. Going into the game we had a lot of respect for Castres, we knew that when we played them over there last time they were very tough competition, and we were going to have to start well this game and I think we did that. We had a good strong set piece and just played well, so we were quite happy with the performance.

“We knew that they were going to be tough there, so again we needed to stamp our authority nice and early. The first couple of scrums I think we really did that and set the tone for the game.”

Bent and his team-mates know exactly what they have to do this coming Saturday. With Leinster lying top of Pool 2, a win by any margin would secure them a prized home quarter-final.

“Wasps have different threats that we’ve got to address. It’s going to be quite a tough battle up front, so we need to prepare for that. I think we just do our preparation right like we did last week, and a couple of minor tweaks and a few areas that we want to improve on, and go from there,” added the Ireland international.