Sport Rugby

Monday 27 January 2020

D'Arcy to return for Warriors collision

Conor George

GORDON D'ARCY is expected to start for Leinster in tomorrow night's Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow Warriors at the RDS (7.35).

D'Arcy has recovered from the calf injury that kept him out of Leinster's last three games and will reclaim his place from Ian Madigan. Madigan is likely to drop to the bench, with Jonathan Sexton set to continue at out-half.

D'Arcy (33) injured his calf during the Pro12 game against Munster and has missed the wins over Zebre and Ospreys in the league as well as the Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Biarritz.

Jamie Heaslip is also expected to return, having recovered from the gash to his leg that kept him out of last weekend's Ospreys game.

The Ireland captain had the stitches removed earlier this week and came through yesterday's training session showing no ill-effects.

Dave Kearney has made a full recovery from the concussion he suffered after being knocked out in that win over Munster. He passed all the return-to-play protocols but will be held back for another week at least.

Rob Kearney and Jonathan Sexton are also available after they sat out training at the start of the week.

"This is probably as healthy as we have been in a while even allowing for the long term-injuries," said assistant coach Jono Gibbes, who insisted that the Leinster players have not let the situation regarding coach Joe Schmidt and his recent appointment to the Ireland position affect their preparations.

"Joe has tried to set the tone and keep things very business-like; everyone has followed his lead and got on with it," said Gibbes.

"Glasgow are a massively improved side, very physical. It's going to be a real challenge for us."

Gibbes, who is contracted to Leinster to the end of next season, admits to a little nervous tension ahead of the arrival of new head coach Matt O'Connor, but expects a seamless transition.

"I'm looking forward to learning off Matt when he arrives. I learned a massive amount under Joe. This is another massive opportunity for me to keep learning as a coach."

Leinster name their starting team at lunchtime today.

Irish Independent

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