Thumb fracture ends McFadden's season
Fergus McFadden's nightmare season is at an end after Leinster confirmed the luckless winger needs surgery on the thumb injury that forced him off against Toulon on Sunday.
The Ireland back fractured his right thumb when contesting a high ball, the latest in a long line of injuries that have ruined his campaign. He will hope that the rest afforded him by the premature end to his season will allow him to hit the ground running and earn a place in Joe Schmidt's World Cup squad.
Leinster can't dwell too long on their Marseille disappointment given they face Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Friday, with Kevin McLaughlin poised to return after his shoulder reconstruction, but Shane Jennings is a doubt as he continues to go through the return to play concussion protocols as is Tom Denton who has a bicep problem.
The province confirmed that Kane Douglas would go under the knife for his back injury on Thursday, while McFadden will have his operation tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Connacht's injury crisis continues unabated with Quinn Roux the latest player to be ruled out for the rest of the season.
He will have surgery on his ankle which will keep him out for two months, while Nathan White and Mick Kearney are also due to have surgery.
White's back injury will be worrying for Schmidt, who will hope his fellow Kiwi can recover in time for pre-World Cup training to provide competition for the No 3 shirt at the World Cup.
The news on Kearney will come as a blow to Leinster coach Matt O'Connor with the second-row set to miss four months of training meaning he faces a race to be fit for the Pro12 games during the World Cup when the champions are set to be stretched due to Ireland call-ups.
Former Leinster second-row Eoin Sheriff has joined London Irish from Saracens for next season.
The Wexford native has been a bit-part player at the European semi-finalists since joining in 2011 and will hope for more game-time.
"Eoin is an ambitious player who is excited to be part of our plans going forward," London Irish operations director Bob Casey said.
Meanwhile, another former Leinster prospect Ian McKinley will line out for the Barbarians tonight against Scottish club side Heriots four years after being told he'd never play the game again when he lost the sight in his right eye in a training ground accident in UCD.