Friday 24 January 2020

O'Connell doubtful for Leinster tie

Hugh Farrelly

MUNSTER coach Tony McGahan says injuries are his main concern ahead of next weekend's showdown with Leinster at Thomond Park, with Paul O'Connell rated "doubtful" to start.

The Munster captain has not played since Ireland's draw in Paris at the start of the month and although McGahan is happy that the second-row's recovery is progressing well, the indications are that next weekend could come too soon.

Scrum-half Conor Murray and second-row Donnacha Ryan are the other major concerns, but McGahan is pleased with David Wallace's progress after the flanker played 40 minutes of Saturday's 20-16 win over Connacht in Galway.

"David only played 40, it was his first major hit-out and that was the plan," said McGahan. "Paul is making solid progress, Conor is in the same boat so we will get a better read on them on Monday or Tuesday, but Paul is doubtful. Donnacha Ryan has got a sore shoulder so he is in doubt as well."

Leinster have their own injury concerns, with tight-heads Nathan White (face) and Jamie Hagan (ribs) both nursing knocks after Friday night's loss to the Ospreys, with updates due today. Leinster are also expecting some news on the future of Shane Horgan, who has yet to play this season due to a knee injury. Both Munster and Leinster welcome back their international contingent after the Six Nations.

Irish Independent

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