Friday 25 May 2018

Johnny Sexton losing fitness race and is set to miss Munster showdown

 

Jonathan Sexton of Leinster during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92
Jonathan Sexton of Leinster during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92
Leinster's Johnny Sexton. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Johnny Sexton looks unlikely to recover from his groin problem in time to take on Munster in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final tomorrow, but Leinster hope to have captain Isa Nacewa available.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen looks set to freshen up his Champions Cup-winning team for the RDS clash, with Robbie Henshaw ruled out and Sexton likely to join him after picking up a groin injury in Bilbao.

If Sexton fails to recover, Cullen will choose between Ross Byrne and Joey Carbery at out-half with Byrne the more likely to get the nod.

However, Carbery could be redeployed to full-back as Cullen freshens up his team on the back of a bruising encounter last weekend.

James Lowe is set to return to the wing with Scott Fardy or Jamison Gibson-Park losing out on the bench.

Cullen will freshen up his pack by bringing Bilbao replacements like Jack Conan, Rhys Ruddock and Jack McGrath into the starting XV.

Munster coach Johann van Graan is likely to name his strongest possible team for the clash against their rivals with John Ryan set to return for the injured Stephen Archer.

The province yesterday confirmed the signing of powerful South African Arno Botha from London Irish for next season.

Irish Independent

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