Monday 18 November 2019

'Frustrated' Rob Kearney set for spell on sidelines after fresh hamstring woe

Rob Kearney of Leinster ahead of the Guinness PRO14 Round 1 match between Dragons and Leinster at Rodney Parade in Newport, Wales. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Rob Kearney of Leinster ahead of the Guinness PRO14 Round 1 match between Dragons and Leinster at Rodney Parade in Newport, Wales. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Rob Kearney's troublesome hamstring will keep him out of Leinster’s two-match tour to South Africa and the province are waiting on scan results to determine how long the Ireland full-back will be sidelined.

The Louthman suffered the latest injury during Friday’s win over Cardiff Blues and was replaced at half-time.

Having missed much of the second half of last season due to a bicep injury, Kearney had returned at the start of this season hoping for a decent run at games but he now faces a spell on the sidelines. His 2015/16 campaign was blighted with hamstring issues.

“It’s gutting for him to be honest,” Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty said today.

“It’s so important that everyone who travels (to South Africa) is ready to go and he’s not in a fit state to travel. It’s disappointing.

“I’m sure he’s at the end of his tether a small bit. He’s annoyed, of course. He still has big plans, he’s got a season ahead of him which he wants to make his mark in both here and for Ireland.

“He wants to be fit and be successful. He’s very disappointed, but he’s realistic in his approach.

"He knows the process he has to go through now to get back. You just have to go to work with it, be disappointed for a little bit but get on with it.”

Leo Cullen will be without another experienced Ireland international after Leinster confirmed that Jamie Heaslip will also miss the trip as he is yet to recover from his back injury.

The No 8 will remain in Dublin and will train with the Academy players and returning Lions and it is hoped he’ll make his return to action against Edinburgh in three weeks’ time.

Dan Leavy is also unlikely to be part of the 28-man squad that will make its way to Johannesburg tomorrow after hurting his ankle on Friday.

Cullen is set to welcome Jordi Murphy, Dave Kearney, Peter Dooley, Noel Reid and Bryan Byrne back for the clashes with the Southern Kings and Cheetahs, while Fergus McFadden, Joey Carbery and James Ryan will all be assessed at UCD today before a decision is made on their availability.

Murphy has not played a competitive game since damaging his cruciate ligament in Ireland’s win over New Zealand in Chicago last Novembe, although he did feature against Gloucester and Bath in pre-season before suffering a minor knee issue.

Already withouth Richardt Strauss, Robbie Henshaw, Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Sean O’Brien, Tom Daly and Garry Ringrose, the province will largely be relying on a young squad as join Zebre in becoming the first European clubs to play Guinness PRO14 games on Southern Hemisphere soil.

The 2014 champions take on the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, before they take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday week.

The South African sides have struggled to adapt to their new surrounds thus far having been hastily added to the tournament, losing heavily to Scarlets, Munster, Ulster and Connacht in their games to date.

Leinster will name their squad after training tomorrow (Tuesday) before they make the long journey south.

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