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Sexton in line to feature in New Year's inter-pro but Leinster lose three players from Munster win

Jack McGrath, James Ryan and Richardt Strauss are all out for the visit of Connacht.

Sexton has completed the return to play protocols.
Sexton has completed the return to play protocols.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON WILL take a full part in Leinster squad training at UCD this afternoon and is due to be available for selection ahead of the New Year’s Day inter-pro against Connacht.

The out-half sat out the St Stephen’s Day victory over Munster at Thomond Park following the head knock he sustained against Exeter Chiefs, but has now completed the return to play protocols.

Sean O’Brien is also due to return to training this week after sitting out the first inter-pro of the festive period with ‘unspecified knocks’ but will be assessed further before a decision is made on his availability.

The Leinster medical team will also closely monitor Adam Byrne’s progress as he steps up his return from a knee problem with a final call on his fitness to be made closer to matchday.

Leo Cullen will, however, definitely be without Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and James Ryan for the visit of the western province to the RDS on Monday [KO 3.15pm].

McGrath, who captained Leinster in Limerick on Tuesday, was withdrawn for a Head Injury Assessment at half-time of the 34-24 victory and did not return to the field of play, with the prop now entering the return to play protocols.

Ryan, meanwhile, twisted his ankle after landing awkwardly during a first-half lineout and Strauss injured his back having come on as a late replacement for James Tracy.

There was no update on the fitness of long-term absentees Rhys Ruddock (hamstring), Joey Carbery (arm), Jamie Heaslip (lower back) and Tom Daly (knee).

On the back of five straight wins in both the Pro14 and Champions Cup, Leinster head into the clash with Kieran Keane’s side sitting in second place in Conference B, two points behind Scarlets.

Meanwhile, Connacht have reported no new injury concerns ahead of the game having come through their bonus-point win over Ulster unscathed.

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