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Leinster will not rush key trio back for Bath clash as Stuart Lancaster warns against complacency for tie

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Leinster's James Ryan, left, and Jonathan Sexton. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Leinster's James Ryan, left, and Jonathan Sexton. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Leinster's James Ryan, left, and Jonathan Sexton. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Leinster will not rush their Ireland trio Johnny Sexton, James Ryan and Jack Conan back from injury for Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Bath at the Aviva Stadium.

Although the three key men will step up their recoveries from respective knocks in training this week, the most likely scenario at this stage appears to be that Sexton, Ryan and Conan will return for next week’s trip to Montpellier.

Bath have endured a wretched start to the season and despite Leinster’s attempts to talk up their threat, they are fully expected to dispatch of the Premiership’s winless basement side, which means they are under less pressure to press Sexton, Ryan and Conan into action this weekend.

“It’s not bad to have Caelan Doris as an option at No 8 to be fair,” Leinster’s senior coach Stuart Lancaster said.

“You’ve got Ross and Harry (Byrne) and Ciarán Frawley and Garry (Ringrose) and Robbie (Henshaw), so we’ve got options.

“The other lads will come back in the mix towards the end of the week.

“It’s not a bad couple of additions to add to your squad because you’re then playing away in France, you know to have Johnny, Jack and James Ryan potentially available, that will make a difference.”

Lancaster also warned against complacency, as his side go into a game that they are fully expected to win with a bit to spare.

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“Obviously subconscious complacency because the boys would never consciously be complacent,” he added.

“I know more than enough people from Bath, both the playing squad and the coaching staff very well, and I know how much they’ll be hurting and working behind the scenes to improve things.

“Sometimes when the shackles are off, the pressure of the Premiership is gone, they could come and think they’re going to have a great day out in Dublin and let’s try and give it a lash.”

Meanwhile, having only returned from a long-term knee injury, back-row Will Connors is facing a few weeks out after damaging his hamstring in training.


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