Sunday 16 December 2018

Cullen could be forced into changes for Toulouse trip

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Leo Cullen is sweating on the fitness of Rob Kearney and Dan Leavy as he prepares to name his Leinster team for Sunday's crunch Champions Cup visit to Toulouse.

Leavy was a late withdrawal for last week's comprehensive win over Wasps on the opening night of Leinster's title defence, while Kearney was forced off with a quad injury during the second half.

Cian Healy was also taken off, but is expected to be in the frame for selection having trained this week but Kearney looks a major doubt.

If he misses out, Cullen could choose to move Jordan Larmour to full-back with Fergus McFadden and Joe Tomane battling it out for a spot on the wing.

Rhys Ruddock came in for Leavy last Friday and did well, but Cullen can also call on Seán O'Brien or Scott Fardy at blindside.

Munster coach Johann van Graan is expected to keep faith with the team that drew in Exeter last week, but there is some suggestion that he could be forced into a front-row change.

The province were yesterday boosted by the news that Chris Farrell and Chris Cloete have signed three-year contracts to remain at Thomond Park, while James Cronin, Neil Cronin and Tommy O'Donnell have signed on for two more seasons.

Munster have also secured the signature of Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy on a two-year deal, while academy prospects Shane Daly and Gavin Coombes have been handed senior contracts.

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