Saturday 16 December 2017

Sean O'Brien in line for return against Montpellier this weekend with Rhys Ruddock ruled out

Sean O'Brien in action for Leinster A last weekend
Sean O'Brien in action for Leinster A last weekend
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Sean O'Brien could be in line for his first Leinster start to the season after Rhys Ruddock was ruled out of their Champions Cup clash against Montpellier on Sunday.

The Tullow native came through 40 minutes against Richmond last Saturday and has been cleared to face the South African dominated Top 14 side.

However, Johnny Sexton remains a major doubt for the round two meeting as he continues to recover from the hamstring injury he suffered last week.

The Ireland out-half will continue to rehabilitate the injury, described as a low Grade I tear by Leo Cullen on Saturday, and a final call will be made later this week.

Ruddock is definitely out after tearing his calf against Castres last weekend, while Tadhg Furlong is deemed "unlikely" to be involved after damaging his hamstring in the same game.

Mike McCarthy is fit and available after missing the Munster and Castres games, while Jack Conan came through the Richmond match without an issue.

That means Mike Ross is in line for a recall, while Michael Bent is set for a place on the bench.

Dave Kearney could feature as he continues to recover from his ankle injury, while Richardt Strauss is also in line for a return from his knee problem - possibly with the Leinster 'A' side against Nottingham.

Long-term injury victims Fergus McFadden, Billy Dardis and Ian Fitzpatrick remain out, while Ed Byrne is still some weeks away from a return.

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