Monday 20 November 2017

Kearney fears as Leinster set off for South Africa without senior men​

 

Leinster's Rob Kearney. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster's Rob Kearney. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster are sweating on the results of a scan on Rob Kearney's hamstring amid fears the Ireland full-back could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Louthman is one of a number of senior internationals who will not travel to South Africa this evening as the province become the first Irish team to play Guinness PRO14 games in the southern hemisphere when they face the Southern Kings on Saturday.

Kearney injured the muscle in Friday's win over Cardiff Blues and was replaced at half-time.

He has endured a torrid time with injuries in recent seasons, missing the latter part of 2016/17 after undergoing bicep surgery and his hamstring seriously disrupted his previous campaign.

The 31-year-old will join the returning Lions and a number of injured players who will remain in Ireland.

Leo Cullen will name a 28-man squad to travel after training at UCD this morning and will not be able to call on the experience of Jamie Heaslip who has not yet recovered from his back operation and will remain in Dublin. Dan Leavy is unlikely to make the trip due to an ankle problem.

However, Jordi Murphy could play his first competitive game since damaging his cruciate ligament in Ireland's historic win over New Zealand last November, while Joey Carbery, James Ryan, Noel Reid, Fergus McFadden, Peadar Timmins, Peter Dooley and Dave Kearney are in contention to travel if they can come through the session.

The Kings will be without first-choice props Ettienne Swanepoel and Rossouw De Klerk who suffered concussions against Connacht last weekend.

Meanwhile, Munster are on the lookout for short-term second-row cover after it was confirmed that new signing Gerbrandt Grobler will be out until the new year after an ankle operation, while Dave Kilcoyne will undergo scans on the knee injury he suffered against the Cheetahs.

Irish Independent

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