Wednesday 11 December 2019

Back injury forces Leinster to put Tadhg Furlong's return on hold

Leinster's Tadhg Furlong
Leinster's Tadhg Furlong
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leinster have confirmed that Tadhg Furlong returned from the World Cup with a back injury and as such, is being eased back.

The in-form Andrew Porter will start tomorrow's Champions Cup opener against Benetton at the RDS as Furlong's return to action has been put on hold.

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Robbie Henshaw is in a similar situation. Having had his World Cup campaign hampered by a hamstring issue, the centre was a late withdrawal before last week's win over Connacht due to illness.

Although Henshaw trained this week, Leinster have opted against putting him back in with Joe Tomane and Garry Ringrose lining up in midfield.

There is no such injury concern for Rob Kearney, who has been left out of the match-day squad at the expense of Jordan Larmour who starts at full-back with Rory O'Loughlin on the bench.

"So Rob came off the bench last week," Leo Cullen explained at the RDS today.

"With him and Jordan, we would have chopped and changed a little bit last year as well, so, we look at sometimes the challenge that we're playing against, the team that we're playing against - Jordan gets the nod this week. Rob is not a million miles away.

"In terms of Tadhg, he's just had a slight issue with his back since he's come back from Japan. So it's nothing major now.

"I thought Ports did very well last week coming back in. (Michael) Benty has been brilliant for us during that whole first block, so we have a lot of confidence in those guys as well, so, again, Tadhg is not a million miles away, but we're in a good position where we're able to give him that extra bit of time.

"In terms of a case by case basis for guys, he's probably in the bracket where we're just being a little bit patient in terms of his return."

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