Leinster sickbay getting rather full
INJURY UPDATE: Leinster will have an even more diluted squad when they arrive in Cape Town for a Round 17 United Rugby Championship meeting with the Stormers on Saturday.
Leo Cullen, speaking after Leinster ran the Sharks close before losing 23-28 to a Springbok-laden team at Kings Park at the weekend, delivered some bleak news on the injury front.
In Durban, the focus was on the absence of star players like Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Tadhg Furlong, Hugo Keenan, Caelan Doris, Jack Conan, James Lowe, Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne.
Lock Brian Deeny, hooker John McKee (who started in place of Rónan Kelleher) and replacement Lee Barron were all making their provincial debuts.
Ahead of the loss to the Sharks Kelleher, named to start initially, was withdrawn as a precaution – with a shoulder knock.
“He has returned to Dublin and will be assessed further at the squad’s base at the University College Dublin,” Cullen said.
“[Hooker] James Tracy picked up a neck injury in training last week,” Cullen said of another member of the touring squad that was pulled out of the matchday squad at a late stage.
“He will be further assessed before a final decision is made on his availability for the match against the Stormers this week.
“The same applies to [No.8] Max Deegan, who suffered a shoulder injury during the defeat in Durban.”
On the flip side, there is some positive news on Ryan Baird.
“The lock picked up a back injury on Ireland duty during the Six Nations and he will now step up his rehabilitation at UCD this week,” Cullen said.