Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has issued an injury update ahead of Friday night’s GUINNESS PRO14 meeting with the Ospreys at the RDS (kick-off 7.35pm).
Dan Leavy, who was withdrawn from the Ireland starting XV to play New Zealand, sustained a strain to his neck and is undergoing a period of rehabilitation. He will not be available for selection this weekend.
Fellow back rower Sean O’Brien underwent a surgical procedure for the broken forearm he suffered during the first half of Ireland’s GUINNESS Series win over Argentina. He will be out for eight to 12 weeks.
Robbie Henshaw, who injured himself during the warm-up prior to the Argentina game, is undergoing a period of rehabilitation for his hamstring strain. He will be out for a period of four to six weeks. It was confirmed last week that Joe Tomane will be out for up to five months with a hamstring injury.
O’Brien, Henshaw and Tomane played in Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup defeat in Toulouse last month, with the Tullow man scoring a try off the bench. All three will be absent for the province’s back-to-back clashes with Bath before Christmas.
Looking forward to the defending champions resuming their GUINNESS PRO14 campaign, Leo Cullen told Leinster Rugby TV: “We’ve been off for a while now, no game the last couple of weekend, prior to that we were away in France, then Italy and then South Africa. So it’ll be great to be back at the RDS.
“We’ve had some amazing support, if you think back to our last game there against Wasps when we had a full house. For us now is the challenge of how do we go about getting a full house for a PRO14 game on an international weekend. That’s a great challenge for us.
“We’re going to be missing a number of players, which presents an amazing opportunity for some of our younger players. A lot of those guys have worked hard during the course of the Celtic Cup campaign. It was great to see so many of those guys get some action. They’ve trained hard over the last couple of weeks.
“I think it’s always a very, very special time seeing players certainly start for Leinster for the first time. Hopefully some of them will go on to have great careers. It’s a huge game for us, great chance, great opportunity, and I’m very, very excited by the challenge.
“We’ve picked up a few injuries in recent weeks, so we’re just stretched a little bit more. We just see it as a positive to see some other younger players come in. We’ll be expecting a tough test from the Ospreys. They’re very well set up defensively under Allen Clarke and Brad Davies, and they’re quite a hard team to break down.”