Leinster count cost of Ireland’s Grand Slam heroics with Johnny Sexton set to miss Champions Cup clash

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton leaves the field injured during the Guinness Six Nations match against England at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: PA

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Johnny Sexton looks set to miss Leinster's Heineken Champions Cup last-16 clash with Ulster on Saturday week as the province count the toll of Ireland's Grand Slam effort.

Leo Cullen's team were bulk providers to Andy Farrell's squad over the last eight weeks and could be without six of those who were involved when they return to the Aviva Stadium next week.

Sexton injured his groin in trying to stop Jamie George's try for England and said after the game that it could be quite serious.

Hugo Keenan, Caelan Doris and Garry Ringrose are following the return to play protocols after suffering head injuries in recent weeks.

Ringrose is expected to be out for a couple of weeks after the serious blow he took against Scotland, while Keenan was forced off just before half-time against England in the incident, which saw Freddie Steward sent off and Doris came off late on.

With his history of injuries in that area, Leinster are likely to be conservative about his return.

Jamie Osborne is another casualty after damaging his knee ligaments against Edinburgh, while Ronan Kelleher is sidelined with a shoulder injury he suffered against Scotland and Joe McCarthy remains sidelined with his ankle.

All Black Charlie Ngatai remains out with a hamstring issue, while Cormac Folery (hamstring) and Martin Moloney (knee) are also ruled out of Friday's top-of-the-table URC meeting with the Stormers at the RDS.

Ed Byrne and Tommy O'Brien are back training after long lay-offs with knee injuries, while the bulk of the Ireland contingent will be given the weekend off.

Munster, meanwhile, welcome back Tom Ahern and Mike Haley this week as they face a pivotal URC battle against Glasgow, while Academy lock Edwin Edogbo is another back fit.

Peter O'Mahony and Conor Murray are given the week off before the province travel to South Africa to face the Sharks in the Champions Cup next week.

Ulster are set to be without Iain Henderson for the rest of the season after he broke his wrist against Scotland.