Squad Updates – Leinster, Munster and Connacht
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Round 4 of the Champions Cup didn’t quite go as planned for Munster and Leinster. Munster can take heart in their losing bonus point while Leinster will be pleased to have got out of the Aviva with the win. Connacht were, and have been, the shining light of Irish rugby so far this season. Back to back wins over Bayonne have put them two points behind Exeter Chiefs.
Attention now turns to the Pro 12 and a number of inter-provincials in the coming weeks for the Irish provinces. Let take a look at how the squads are shaping up for the weekend.
Rhys Ruddock it has been confirmed is facing between 4 and 6 weeks out with a fractured arm after the win against Harlequins in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. He will not require corrective surgery, which is a major plus.
Three Irish internationals should return to the match day 22, Gordon D’Arcy, Dave Kearney and Richardt Strauss all came through training this week and are fit for selection. Marty Moore, Fergus McFadden and Ben Te’o have been described as progressing well from their respective injuries. Also Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien have been begun pitch work as their recovery continues.
A return to action this weekend is ‘touch and go’ for Fionn Carr after he received 8 stitches after a play to the head in the last game. Standard return-to-play protocols for concussion must now be followed before he can be passed fit.
Mick Kearney will be out for between 3 -4 weeks after an ankle injury. Andrew Browne is also unavailable for the tie with Leinster as he recovers from surgery on his knee.
Ian Porter and prop JP Cooney have been passed fit to play which will provide relieve to Pat Lam ahead of busy domestic run off games.
Leinster vs Connacht – RDS Arena, Friday 19th 7.35pm. Live on TG4
Three major blows on the injury front have been suffered by Munster. Gerarrd van den Heever suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee and is schedule for surgery at the end of the month. A lengthy spell out is likely.
Dave Kilcoyne is out for 6 – 8 weeks with a knee injury and Jonny Holland has a torn hamstring and will be sidelined for around 6 months.
Andrew Smith has a chance of featuring against Ulster but Anthony Foley is waiting on further assessment. Paddy Butler made a full return to training this week. Little positives on the injury front as James Cronin and Cathal Sheridan continue to be reviewed by the medical staff.
Glasgow vs Munster – Scotstoun Stadium, Saturday 20th 2.40pm, Live on Sky