Sunday 25 September 2016

Leader ruled out for Connacht run-in

Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30

Fractured finger rules Darragh Leader out of Connacht run-in
Fractured finger rules Darragh Leader out of Connacht run-in

Connacht will have to do without full-back Darragh Leader for their final Guinness Pro12 game of the season against Ospreys, and any potential European Champions Cup play-offs.

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The 21-year-old Roscommon native (below) fractured a finger in the build-up to last weekend's win over Zebre, a victory that keeps the Westerners' season alive.

Pat Lam has a back-three headache with Danie Poolman a doubt for the weekend, after he also suffered a hand injury. The South African will undergo an X-ray before his fate is known.

Saturday's win means Connacht can keep their European dreams alive if they can overcome the league leaders at the Sportsground.

Scarlets are clinging on to the final automatic qualification spot ahead of their final game against Treviso in Italy, while Edinburgh are a point behind Lam's side and take on Leinster at home.

Leader will also be denied the chance to join up with the national squad for the end-of-season game against the Barbarians or go on the Emerging Ireland trip to Georgia for the Tbilisi Cup.

Preparations for the Baa-Baas on Thursday fortnight at Thomond Park remain unclear, given that Ireland coach Joe Schmidt does not know who will be available to him for the game.

His team is likely to be Leinster-heavy: the Blues' campaign is over this weekend, but with Connacht, Ulster and Munster all potentially still involved in their seasons.

"There is no makeup to the squad yet," Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy said.

"Joe will wait to see who is in the semi-finals, and you'll get a better idea at that stage. Obviously Leinster will have quite a lot involved because they don't have a lot else to do that weekend."

Irish Independent

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