Sunday 15 September 2019

Robbie Henshaw returns for Leinster to soften Luke McGrath blow​


Robbie Henshaw and (inset) Luke McGrath
Robbie Henshaw and (inset) Luke McGrath
Robbie Henshaw. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor​

Robbie Henshaw looks set to come straight into Leinster's midfield for tomorrow's Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets, softening the loss of Luke McGrath who has not recovered from his ankle issue in time to play.

That means exciting winger James Lowe misses out on the biggest game of the province's season due to the competition rules on non-European players which mean Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster must choose two from Lowe, Scott Fardy and Jamison Gibson-Park.

McGrath's injury means Gibson-Park will partner Johnny Sexton at half-back, while Fardy looks set to continue in the back-row in the absence of Seán O'Brien and Rhys Ruddock.

He is likely to be joined by Dan Leavy and Jordi Murphy.

The return of Henshaw to the midfield allows Isa Nacewa to shift out to the wing in Lowe's place, with the Ireland star back ahead of schedule after suffering a serious shoulder injury against Italy in the Six Nations.

Otherwise, it's set to be as you were from the quarter-final win over Saracens for the tournament favourites with the Welsh side also likely to be unchanged from the team that beat La Rochelle.

The last remaining tickets for the Aviva Stadium clash remain on sale. 48,000 had been sold yesterday.

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that Johann van Graan could bench Simon Zebo for Munster's Champions Cup semi-final clash with Racing 92 on Sunday.

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Zebo has been struggling with injury of late and could lose his place to Andrew Conway, the hero of the last eight victory over Toulon, with Keith Earls and Alex Wootton on the wings for the Bordeaux showdown.

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