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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

Fitzgerald back in international contention as Leinster issue clean bill of health

The winger suffered no ill effects after an hour’s action in Cardiff.

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

LEINSTER WERE TODAY able to issue the all-clear after last Thursday’s 22 -34 Pro12 win over the Cardiff Blues.

The clean bill of health after the bonus point away win means that international hopefuls Eoin Reddan and Luke Fitzgerald will get another opportunity to give international head coach Joe Schmidt a selection headache when Leinster host Glasgow this Saturday.

Fitzgerald was Ireland’s in-form winger leading in to the Six Nations, but a back injury took him out of contention for both country and province in recent weeks. And because of Fitzgerald’s history of injury, the wing was treated with extra caution by Leinster’s medical team and held back from facing the Dragons the week previous.

“He’s been very close for a couple of weeks,” said team manager Guy Easterby said of Fitzgerald.

“We definitely did the right thing in terms of getting him right. He was very close to playing a couple of weeks before, so he’s delighted to get some decent game time and he came through it well.”

Reddan, meanwhile, was also widely expected to feature in Schmidt’s preferred match-day squad, but a calf injury kept him out of Ireland’s opening Six Nations games and Isaac Boss was again preferred to the Limerick man for the away trip to Twickenham.

After going into the game with some concerns on the effect of the artificial surface in Cardiff, the Leinster squad as a whole had nothing more than fatigue after the win.

“Some have played on the back pitch in the Aviva, but we came through it okay,” Easterby added.

“They were pretty tired, it was a fast game because ball was in play a bit more, that’s just due to the nature of the surface.”

And with nine days separating the win in Cardiff from Saturday’s clash with the fifth-placed Warriors, that will be no concern by the time kick-off comes around.

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Sean Farrell

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