Healy and Ruddock for Ospreys showdown
Leinster have been boosted by the news that Cian Healy has shown no ill effects after his remarkable comeback from his ankle injury and he is set to start against Ospreys in their final Heineken Cup pool game at the RDS this Friday, WRITES DAVID KELLY.
Healy had been expected to miss two months of action, but after working intensively with Leinster medical staff, particularly rehab expert Stephen Smith, the indomitable Clontarf prop recovered in half that time and he made a surprise second-half cameo in the clash against Castres last weekend.
There was further good news for Leinster with the news that Rhys Ruddock has shaken off his niggling calf injury and is back in contention for Friday's game.
Ospreys have already exited the competition and that means they are unlikely to risk stricken players such as Richard Fussell, Joe Bearman, Duncan Jones, Tom Isaacs and Sam Lewis, though Welsh captain Ryan Jones is back in contention. Scrum-half Tito Tebaldi is facing a spell of up to six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Craig Gilroy is likely to start for Ulster against Leicester this weekend, but Declan Fitzpatrick is ruled out through concussion. Iain Henderson will start on the bench.
Locks Graham Kitchener and Ed Slater, plus prop Logovi'i Mulipola, have been given the all-clear by director of rugby Richard Cockerill to feature for Leicester.
"Slater and Kitchener will be fit and Mulipola will be back this week which is huge for us," said Cockerill.
"That is key and for us and, with Anthony Allen back playing his first game and freeing up the fly-half slot for Toby Flood, it is good news."