Thursday 20 September 2018

Leinster's Johnny Sexton available for New Year's Day showdown with Connacht

Johnny Sexton is available on New Year's Day
Johnny Sexton is available on New Year's Day
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Johnny Sexton is available for a return to action for Leinster against Connacht on New Year's Day should Leo Cullen choose to select him.

The Ireland out-half has completed his return to play protocols after sufferings of a head injury during the Champions Cup win over Exeter Chiefs on December 16th.

He sat out the St Stephen's Day win over Munster at Thomond Park and is back training at UCD.

Cullen has a call to make as he assesses his star man's work load in the coming weeks. After Connacht, Leinster host Ulster before their final two Champions Cup pool games.

Adam Byrne and Sean O'Brien are also in training, but a decision on their availability will be taken closer to kick-off.

James Ryan will miss the visit of the western province to the RDS with an ankle injury he suffered in Thomond Park, while Jack McGrath is a doubt after a head injury.

If McGrath fails to make it, Cian Healy's ban means Ed Byrne would be the likely starting loosehead with Peter Dooley also available. Richardt Strauss'a back problem rules him out.

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