Leinster boost as injury woes start to ease
Published 27/09/2011 | 05:00
THE sun made a rare appearance in Donnybrook yesterday, perhaps to mark the news that Leinster had a little light at the end of their injury tunnel.
Monday briefings have developed into casualty lists this season as the 14 World Cup absentees were joined on the sidelines by an array of fallen comrades.
With the action in New Zealand hogging the spotlight, Saturday's win over the Scarlets didn't register much on the radar, but 24 players unavailable for the 15-10 win in Llanelli -- thanks to Isa Nacewa's five penalties -- will satisfy Joe Schmidt and Co ahead of two back-to-back home games and a two-week break before the return of their internationals.
Couple that with news that Andrew Conway and Steven Sykes could come into contention this week, while Dominic Ryan and Kevin McLaughlin have made progress, and things are beginning to look up. Despite leaving the field early on Saturday, Luke Fitzgerald and new boy Nathan White are both expected to play against Aironi on Saturday.
Nacewa acknowledges that this has been a difficult period.
"Wales is a hard place to go at the best of times," said the full-back said. "To do it with the core group of guys that we've had through this pre-season -- we were pretty desperate -- and to come through it with a win was a big stepping stone."
Meanwhile, Leinster have already sold more than 30,000 tickets for their Pro12 clash with Munster on Friday, November 4.