Sunday 19 November 2017

Leinster Lions set for Edinburgh return

Sean O'Brien pictured during Leinster squad training at UCD, Belfield, in Dublin. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Sean O'Brien pictured during Leinster squad training at UCD, Belfield, in Dublin. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leinster's bid to bounce back from last week's disappointing defeat to the Cheetahs is set to be boosted by the return of their five Lions for Friday's visit of Edinburgh.

Stuart Lancaster returned from South Africa late last week as he stepped up the reintegration of Johnny Sexton, Sean O'Brien, Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong and Jack McGrath into the squad.

Sexton (wrist), O'Brien (shoulder) and Henshaw (pectoral) suffered injuries on the tour in New Zealand, while both props were given an extended break following a gruelling season.

Lancaster insisted that there was "no reason" all five players couldn't feature at the RDS on Friday as they took a full part in training yesterday.

Devin Toner and Scott Fardy missed Leinster's eventful mini-tour of South Africa due to personal reasons but they are also in line to feature against Edinburgh.

Isa Nacewa (calf) and James Ryan (foot) will miss the game but Lancaster dismissed fears surrounding the long-term fitness of both players with Leinster's skipper facing up to three weeks on the sidelines, while Ryan is due back in a few days.

"Isa said he got kicked before the actual pull on his calf," Lancaster explained.

Despite Jamie Heaslip's return date from a persistent back problem still being unclear, Lancaster admitted that the coaches were not worried about the uncertainty.

"I am not concerned, in that regard," Lancaster said.

"It is frustrating. I feel for him. He is such a professional, diligent in terms of his rehab. He is going to get there. But it is the not knowing that is most frustrating for him.

"For us, we miss him at the moment. When you've got those Lions players missing, you miss that experience.

"We missed Jamie significantly in South Africa. We really could have done with him. It is an injury in the back which you don't want to take any risks with.

"We want to make sure he is 100pc right before he comes back. But he will be back."

Garry Ringrose (shoulder) meanwhile, is said to be "making great progress" and is on track for a return at the end of October.

Irish Independent

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