Saturday 21 September 2019

Leinster hope to have injured quartet available for PRO14 final but sweat over Isa Nacewa

Leinster's Johnny Sexton. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Leinster's Johnny Sexton. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Leinster hope to have Johnny Sexton, Rob Kearney and Dan Leavy available for Saturday's Guinness PRO14 final against Scarlets, while they are also upbeat on Isa Nacewa's prospects of recovering in time to play his final game.

Robbie Henshaw's knee injury is not expected to clear up in time for the fixture. The Athlone native was sporting a knee brace at the RDS last Saturday.

Leo Cullen's men beat Munster without the quartet of Champions Cup starters last Saturday, while captain Nacewa went off at half-time.

Leinster say he has a calf problem, but he is also dealing with a knee issue and James Lowe described him as playing on one leg after the game. 

Sexton hurt his calf in training after damaging his groin during the game, Kearney was described as being "banged up" but acted as water-boy against Munster and Leavy had a "tight hamstring" after the win over Racing 92.

Dave Kearney is fit again after his shoulder injury and comes into contention, but long-term absentees Fergus McFadden, Seán O'Brien, Cathal Marsh and Josh van der Flier remain sidelined.

“Isa is sore at the moment but we’re hopeful that he can get himself through the week and out onto the field," scrum coach John Fogarty said.

“He’s obviously very important to us on the field but spiritually, to the group, he’s extremely important and everyone is pulling for him to get on the field. We’re hopeful he gets there.

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“He will do everything he can, he’s a remarkable guy. He’s the kind of guy who can have very little physical prep but still get himself in a very good place to be able to perform for the team.

“Johnny had to be managed last week, but again we’re hopeful he can get through the week. We’re not on the field until tomorrow, so we’ll see how he goes and it’s the same for Dan Leavy – he picked up a hamstring last week.

“It’s doubtful Robbie is going to get there but we’ll do our best to get them all on the field if we can. It’s probably a little bit optimistic (to think that Henshaw will play). Of all of them, he’s the one that is pretty doubtful.”

Scarlets will be without captain John Barclay for the game after he suffered ankle and Achilles tendon damage in their semi-final win over Glasgow.

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