Tuesday 12 December 2017

Heinke to get Leinster call

HEINKE VAN DER MERWE is poised to come into the Leinster team for their Heineken Cup opener against Montpellier this weekend, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.

The Springbok prop successfully rotated the loose-head position with Ireland's Cian Healy during Leinster's successful run to the trophy last season and, with Healy understood to be nursing a minor niggle, could come into the side for Saturday's clash at Stade de la Mosson.

Healy has not been ruled out, but if the World Cup star is unavailable, it could see Heineken Cup rookie Jack McGrath brought into the match-day 23.

McGrath has 10 senior appearances for Leinster, but just one start, against Glasgow last May.

Meanwhile, New Zealand say they are open to the prospect of midweek tour matches on Ireland's summer tour next year.

Ireland are scheduled to play a three-Test series against the World Cup champions next summer and NZRU CEO Steve Tew said the "door is open" for that to include midweek matches.

"It's something we are still discussing with the Irish Rugby Union.

"They wanted to wait till after the Rugby World Cup to assess their planning for 2012, so that work is still on-going," said Tew.

"We have offered (midweek games) and are ready to go on a discussion on how that might look, but it's up to them to agree they want to bring a bigger squad and play midweek."

Irish Independent

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