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Heinke: We have score to settle

THE workaholic Leinster coach certainly has his hands full. He was waiting for a progress report sometime today on the recovery of Ireland loose-head prop Cian Healy from a glute muscle injury received last week.

He was also due to hear news on the result of a scan and subsequent specialist opinion on flanker Dominic Ryan’s injured ankle from Leinster ‘A’s British & Irish Cup win at Esher on Saturday. It doesn’t look good.

There is also the matter of keeping fingers crossed for Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, who will undergo surgery on the ‘trapped nerve’ in his shoulder by Ashley Poynton at the Mater Private tomorrow.

Thankfully, Schmidt was able to call on the services of Springbok loose-head prop Heinke van der Merwe, a quality operator, for his 40th cap for the province against Montpellier on Saturday in a sure sign of the legitimate depth of the squad.

The South African wants to purge himself of the bitter pill of defeat by Glasgow Warriors in the PRO12 League more than eight weeks ago when the clubs reconvene in the Heineken Cup at The RDS on Sunday.

“They came here and beat us in the PRO12. With the win they pulled off at the weekend, it is going to be a tough match for us,” he said.

“We have to play hard and do the basics right. Their confidence is very high at the moment.

“The game starts with the pack of forwards. They beat us here the last time up front.”

Van der Merwe was not about to throw his toys out of the pram at playing second fiddle to Healy when the big Heineken Cup matches come around.

He could be in line to start again in Round Two.

“If you have two or more really good players in the same position, you just have to fight it out,” he added.

Meanwhile, ahead of O’Driscoll’s surgery, Isaac Boss believes his replacements in the Leinster team are the “future of Irish rugby”.

Despite agreeing that the Ireland captain will be a major loss to the province, scrum-half Boss has every confidence in the squad’s younger talent.

“We’re lucky enough to have some quality midfield players to come in and it’s probably the future of Irish rugby with Ferg (Fergus) McFadden and (Eoin) O’Malley and other guys. They are ready to take their chance,” he said. And despite the serious nature of the injury to O’Driscoll, Boss expects him to make a full recovery.

“Obviously everyone is very disappointed.

“We are all hoping for the best for them and Drico and hoping he comes through well, and comes back and makes a full recovery.

“I’m sure he will.”