Friday 24 November 2017

Sexton and Fitzgerald boost for Leinster’s pool finale

Jonny Sexton. Photo: Getty Images
Jonny Sexton. Photo: Getty Images

LEINSTER duo Jonny Sexton and Luke Fitzgerald will be available for the province’s final Heineken Cup tie with Montpellier.

But Munster’s injury jinx has continued as Niall Ronan has been hit with a knee ligament injury that could rule him out for a substantial period of time.

Sexton, Leinster’s Bank of Ireland Player of the Month for December, damaged an ankle in Sunday’s win in Glasgow and despite playing on, he appeared to be in discomfort afterwards.

However, he will be available for selection, as will Fitzgerald, whose neck strain had raised fears in some quarters about his longterm fitness.

As Leinster have already qualified as pool winners and likely top seeds, coach Joe Schmidt may choose to rest Sexton ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales in February.

The draw for the semi-final pairings – the quarter-final lineup is determined by pool placings – will take place on Sunday following the conclusion of the final round of pool matches.

Should Ulster join already qualified Munster and Leinster in the last eight, IRFU bosses could be in line for a bumper pay-day close to €1.5m.

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