Leinster return to GUINNESS PRO14 action against Edinburgh at Myreside on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm), aiming for their sixth win in-a-row in the competition.
Leo Cullen’s men, who are currently second in Conference B, last played away to Montpellier in the Champions Cup, with the province recording a 23-14 away win to complete a clean sweep of pool victories. As was reported at the time, there were no significant injury concerns after that game.
In positive injury news, winger Adam Byrne, who has not played since Ireland’s November internationals, is due to return to training this week after his knee procedure. Byrne’s return comes ahead of a crucial series of fixtures for Leinster in the PRO14.
The province’s scrum coach John Fogarty said: “We’re working away with the group of players that we have. So if we get guys back (from Ireland camp), we’re obviously getting an international player back, they’re quality players and they’ll obviously add to the group.
“But the guys that are in the building right now are very clear about what their roles are over the next four weeks. We’ve got a lot of faith and trust in the guys that are in the building. If we get players back, that’s great, they’ll clearly add to the mix, but we’re working with the group we have at the moment.
“Edinburgh won’t be missing (Viliame) Mata, who is a really hard ball-carrying number 8. Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury will likely be involved with them, they’re quality players. We found it very difficult to deal with Edinburgh in our first game, our lineout was stressed, defensively we were under a lot of pressure and it was a very tight game up until the last 10 minutes (before we won 21-13).
“We’re not going over with the mindset that we’re going to smash Edinburgh’s pack or that their pack is weakened. They’ve got players in the Scottish squad, we’ve got a fair few players in the Irish squad. Right now we’re realistic that this is going to be a very tough challenge for us.
“With (Richard) Cockerill, they’ve improved hugely since the early season. They have an edge to them, the way they play the game. They’re the only team that’s beaten Glasgow (in the league) this year. They’re a proper outfit, well-coached. At home, sitting in fourth at the moment, I think they’re three points behind Ulster.
“So this is a hugely important block. We’re not getting sidetracked by Six Nations, the season for us is continuing and it continues for them (Edinburgh) too. It’s important for them to get their points, and for us, every point matter. We’re expecting an incredibly tough game on Friday night.”
Leinster will be without Cathal Marsh for the next block of games after the out-half injured his toe during training the week of the recent British & Irish Cup game against Doncaster Knights. The IRFU also confirmed that Josh van der Flier has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee ligament injury. Barry Daly has been brought into Ireland camp to train with the squad during the early part of the week.
After Leinster’s round 14 trip to Edinburgh is the visit of the Scarlets, the current Conference B leaders, on Saturday week (February 17), with tickets available now online from €;23.50 for adults and €;10 for under-18s.