Wednesday 19 September 2018

Luke McGrath in fitness race for Champions Cup semi-final as scrum-half prepares to sit out Treviso clash

31 March 2018; Luke McGrath during the Leinster Rugby captain's run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
31 March 2018; Luke McGrath during the Leinster Rugby captain's run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster are likely to give Luke McGrath another week to get over his ankle injury in the hope that he'll be fit to face Scarlets in their crunch Champions Cup semi-final on Saturday week.

The scrum-half damaged the joint in the quarter-final win against Saracens and is expected to miss this week's game against Treviso at the RDS.

McGrath's fitness holds the key to Leinster selecting from a full deck for the final four tie at the Aviva Stadium, given tournament rules preclude them from picking all three of their Antipodean stars James Lowe, Scott Fardy and Jamison Gibson-Park.

Leo Cullen's preference in recent times has been to go for Lowe and Fardy with Gibson-Park missing out, but if McGrath fails to recover in time the Kiwi would go to the top of the queue with the coach being forced to choose between the Australian forward and the New Zealand winger.

Sean O'Brien may come into the equation for the PRO14 clash, but Jack Conan and Rhys Ruddock miss out and remain doubts for the Scarlets game.

There was good news for Cullen with news that Jordan Larmour is back in training ahead of the game after damaging his calf during the Six Nations, while Tom Daly has recovered from his anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Ed Byrne, Michael Bent and Noel Reid are also back in training, while Cathal Marsh will return later in the week.

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