| 7°C Dublin

Rob a doubt but D'Arcy's back in Blue

LEINSTER full-back Rob Kearney is losing his race to be fit for this weekend's Heineken Cup showdown with the Scarlets, but Leinster look set to be boosted by the return of Gordon D'Arcy.

D'Arcy faces a battle for the inside centre slot with Fergus McFadden, who provided some good go-forward ball last weekend against Exeter, after overcoming the rib injury he picked up a month ago.

Joe Schmidt may decide to deploy McFadden on the wing to incorporate D'Arcy into his familiar midfield partnership with Brian O'Driscoll.

The game will come too soon for full-back Kearney who is still recovering from the back injury he picked up against Connacht three weeks ago with Ian Madigan set to extend his time in the number 15 shirt.

Saturday afternoon's opposition have their own injury concerns ahead of the big match, which the Welsh side will view as a must-win.


Eight Scarlets players are nursing knocks in the wake of last weekend's bruising 49-16 defeat to Clermont Auvergne, although head coach Simon Easterby is optimistic most of those will be able to take the field at Parc y Scarlets for a match his side must win to keep alive their European ambitions.

Centre Scott Williams, midfield partner Jonathan Davies, flanker Aaron Shingler, full-back Liam Williams, skipper Rob McCusker and new Argentinian signing Tomas Vallejos are among those also undergoing treatment, with Vallejos having picked up a bump playing for Llanelli RFC in a British and Irish Cup tie at Moseley on Saturday.

"Nobody is ruled out at the moment," said former Irish international Easterby. "We have got a number of players who haven't been able to train so far this week, so we will leave selection until tomorrow.

Easterby will also have to wait on the outcome of a disciplinary ruling into Morgan Stoddart's red card at the Stade Marcel Michelin. An independent judicial officer will review the case following written submissions from the Scarlets.