Thursday 22 August 2019

Carbery may need op as Leinster turn to Byrne

The Ireland international met with a specialist yesterday to determine whether an operation on his ankle injury was needed. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
The Ireland international met with a specialist yesterday to determine whether an operation on his ankle injury was needed. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ruaidhri O’Connor

Ross Byrne will wear the No 10 jersey for Leinster against Northampton on Saturday after the province revealed that Joey Carbery could need surgery.

The Ireland international met with a specialist yesterday to determine whether an operation on his ankle injury was needed and has been ruled out of the Pool 4 re-match.

Johnny Sexton remains in Santry where he is dealing with his hamstring problems, while Cathal Marsh is also out with a hand injury, meaning the burden falls on UCD man Byrne, who replaced Carbery at Franklin's Gardens.

He picked up a bad cut above his eye in a clash of heads with Rory O'Loughlin on Friday, but has been cleared to train this week and will lead the backline, with Isa Nacewa, Tom Daly and Noel Reid providing out-half cover.

"Joey is going to going to see about surgery, Johnny is getting himself right," scrum coach John Fogarty said.

"It's not ideal, but there's been other times we've been in here talking about how we're lucky to have that strength.

"Ross came in and controlled the game very well, led the team very well and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes in the Aviva."

Ian Madigan's departure left Leinster thin on out-half cover and that has been exposed by Sexton's injuries which have limited him to 40 minutes of European action.

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Yet Carbery has stepped in and done well in his first full season and now it is his fellow 21-year-old's turn.

"Getting an opportunity to play on the biggest days, you definitely find out more about the players as leaders," Fogarty said.

"Especially in a position like out-half, it's how they can control the group of players, how they control their own temperament in tough games or when there's lots and lots of pressure.

"Ross did a great job, he gets another opportunity. It's exciting for him, it's exciting for us to see him in that role."

Rob Kearney is likely to be ruled out with an ankle injury, but Sean O'Brien should be available.

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