LEINSTER ASSISTANT COACH Jono Gibbes is expecting Eoin Reddan to play against his native province on Saturday as the province look to belatedly kick-start their season.
The European Champions presented a list of a dozen names nursing injuries after last Friday’s mauling in Connacht.
This week though, leading into a crucial three-match phase of the season, they have at least been able to reduce, rather than swell that number.
From the list of 12 names (which included Rob Kearney, Isaac Boss, Sean O’Brien and Eoin O’Malley) three will be considered for selection before Joe Schmidt names the team tomorrow.
With no senior back-up at scrum-half, Reddan is perhaps the most heartening returnee and Shane Jennings was always likely to shake off a knock to his leg, but Gordon D’Arcy (ribs) is still a doubt:
“Gordon is progressing pretty well, we’re just going to wait until tomorrow. Give him as much time a possible.. Redser is looking good and we’re pretty confident he’ll be involved, he’s progressed well over the week.”
Gibbes added that Rob Kearney, who is suffering a back-strain after a heavy landing in Galway, is now likely to be fit for the visit of Exeter Chiefs. A much more positive appraisal than the six-week absence which some outlets had reported.
“Kearns has taken a positive step towards the end of the week and there’s now a little bit more positivity towards next week (against Exeter) than there was.” Said Gibbes, adding:
“The impact itself, the area that was effected took a little bit of time to settle down so they could actually get in there and have look. Even after the diagnosis it’s settled down a little bit more.”
After delivering that hint of silver lining, the Waikato man exaggeratedly looked back to his sheet containing the long list of names.”Quinn Roux,” he reads as if verbatim, “settling down well but unavailable.”
Leinster have endured rather than played their way through the season so far.
There is never much convincing required from this incarnation of Leinster to get motivated for the visit of Munster.
However, you get the sense from Gibbes and Schmidt that they are equally excited to a welcome period when they are free of the IRFU reigns and can select a strong team for three weeks in succession.
Leinster’s injury list:
Rob Kearney (back), Gordon D’Arcy (ribs), Sean O’Brien (hip), Luke Fitzgerald (neck), Rhys Ruddock (hip), Eoin O’Malley (hip), Quinn Roux (shoulder), Aaron Dundon (toe), Dominic Ryan (ankle), Isaac Boss (shoulder).