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Blues injury woes continue to add up

LEINSTER have been lunged deeper into crisis mode, with the confirmation that Ireland flanker Kevin McLaughlin and U20 international Dominic Ryan have both been ruled out of the game for three weeks with ankle ligament injuries.

"We felt we could be really competitive without 14 (World Cup) players, as important as they are to us. We've lost now Kev McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Shane Horgan, Steven Sykes and Mat Berquist," said Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.

"These are the guys who should be leading the team, giving us the direction that we need. You take those five (out) particularly, as well as guys like Andrew Conway and Ian McKinley, it is not ideal. A team (or squad) is usually 23 players. When you haven't got 23 players, you haven't got a team."

Centre Eamon Sheridan is still on crutches and Ireland U20 lock Ben Marshall twisted a knee in a club match at the weekend.

Academy players Jordi Murphy, Noel Reid, 21, and Ciaran Ruddock, 22, will probably see game time at the Scarlets on Saturday. Former Connacht and Munster full-back Danny Riordan has been called in to bolster the squad, while Leinster are actively pursuing fly-half cover for Ian Madigan.