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Leinster Begin Preparations For Final Round Trip To Ulster

Leinster Begin Preparations For Final Round Trip To Ulster

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty addressed the media today in UCD ahead of next Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 final round trip to face Ulster at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm).

The only injury concern from the game against Glasgow Warriors last Friday was Dominic Ryan who left the pitch with a bicep injury shortly after scoring a try. He has been ruled out of the derby clash with Ulster and a further assessment will be made later in the week.

Jack Conan, who was a late withdrawal from the team to play Glasgow due to a tight calf picked up in the Captain’s Run, will be assessed as the week progresses.

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Similarly, Sean Cronin (neck), Robbie Henshaw (ribs) and Sean O’Brien (hamstring) will all be assessed as the week progresses before a final call is made on their inclusion or otherwise.

Scrum coach John Fogarty said: “I think Sean is close. I think he’s running today. He’s back on the pitch this week. Obviously he’s had some issues in the past with his hamstring so it’s just important that he gets back and he’s healthy for us towards the end of the season and into the Lions.

“He’s been rehabbing, he’s in good nick. He’s on the gym floor, he’s on the pitch this week. It’s just about making sure he’s in a good spot.”

The following players remain unavailable for selection this week – Ed Byrne (hamstring), Dave Kearney (ankle), Mike McCarthy (back and elbow), Rob Kearney (bicep and knee), Jamie Heaslip (back) and Jordi Murphy (ACL).

Commenting on the progress made by Rob Kearney and Heaslip, who have not played since Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to Wales on Friday, March 10, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen said: “It’s week by week. Their injuries, the time-frame originally on those injuries, 10 to 12 weeks, were both a similar time. That takes you to the end of the season so if it goes incredibly well they might get back inside that.

“But if it’s not going incredibly well then it’s getting very, very tight to play a semi-final or final, having not played for 10 to 12 weeks. Obviously Rob’s is complicated because he’s had two surgeries, not one. Jamie’s is one. A disc issue in your back, they react so differently. It’s impossible to tell.

“We”ve had players who have come back in 10 weeks, players who have come back ready to be introduced to training and their black flares up again and they have to have surgery again. So, we just have to make sure we’re careful in doing what’s best for those guys. It’s very hard to be definitive about exactly when they’re going to be back.”