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Kirchner is out for four weeks and Heaslip is still a doubt for Castres


zane kirchner

zane kirchner

zane kirchner

Zane KIRCHNER has been forced out of action for four weeks.

The South African international was thought to have suffered bone bruising to his shin against Ulster, however, the experience of extended pain prompted a scan which has revealed a small fracture which rules him out of rounds 5 and 6 of the Champions Cup.

He may not be the only one. Jamie Heaslip is being loosely supervised by management and the medical staff as he continues to struggle with a blow to his shoulder.

The No 8 was seen to train in a degree of discomfort on Monday, wincing as he executed a lineout lift. He must be considered a real doubt with Jack Conan waiting in the wings. Second row Tom Denton was originally selected to start against Cardiff Blues and withdrew with a stiff neck.

He took part in full contact in training on Monday and again yesterday and is available for selection this weekend.


Flanker Shane Jennings has trained with the squad and should be available for selection having recovered from the tightness he felt in his hamstring before the Ulster game.

The decision on whether to appeal the three-week suspension of Jack McGrath for foul play on Rory Best will be made at a meeting today.

It is thought more likely than not that Leinster will take a second shot at convincing the Independent Disciplinary Committee to reduce or wipe out the ban entirely to allow the prop to play in The Champions Cup.

Loose-head Cian Healy and flanker Seán O'Brien have received their latest reviews from their surgeons and have been put through their paces without taking full contact.

Flanker Kevin McLaughlin is making solid progress from surgery to his shoulder. He is out of his sling and is continuing his recovery with no date set for his return.

Rhys Ruddock had the cast removed from his forearm this week. All has gone to plan, to this point, and he is targeting the Guinness PRO12 game against the Dragons in mid-February as his return to play date.

IRISH second row Dan Tuohy looks set to miss the opening games of the RBS 6 Nations after picking up a thumb injury in Ulster's weekend win over Treviso.