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Leinster wait for scan results on Nacewa's calf injury ahead of Munster

John Fogarty says decisions on team selection for the Pro14 semi-final will be made today, but admits they might need to freshen things up.

Nacewa is a doubt for Saturday's Pro14 semi-final.
Nacewa is a doubt for Saturday's Pro14 semi-final.
Image: Ramsey Cardy

ISA NACEWA YESTERDAY had a scan on the calf injury he sustained during Saturday’s Champions Cup final, as Leinster wait to see if the damage is such that it would deny the 35-year-old the chance to play for the province again.

Nacewa was limping heavily during Leinster’s homecoming event on Sunday and the extent of the injury will become clearer pending further tests on his calf.

The Leinster captain suffered the knock at some stage during the European final in Bilbao but was able to complete the 80 minutes, as well as kicking two second-half penalties, one of which was, of course, the match-winning one.

Nacewa had taken over kicking duties from Johnny Sexton after the Ireland out-half sustained a groin strain while miscuing a long-range penalty from the halfway line, although his injury didn’t require a scan.

Sexton is, however, a major doubt for Saturday’s Pro14 Guinness semi-final against Munster and, like Nacewa, is unlikely to feature at the RDS after a physically-demanding couple of weeks.

Leo Cullen is likely to make a couple of changes to his side for the visit of their southern rivals with Robbie Henshaw already ruled out with a knee injury, which given the timing of it, must make him a doubt for Ireland’s summer tour of Australia.

“They’ll image and assess to see if he can catch some rugby at the end of the season,” John Fogarty said of the centre.

“He looked very stiff and uncomfortable, but again I don’t know the term, the length of time or the grade. It’s pretty early.”

Other than Henshaw and long-term absentees such as Sean O’Brien and Josh van der Flier, there are no other players definitely out of contention for Saturday, with the province likely to freshen things up a bit.

John Fogarty Scrum coach John Fogarty speaking at UCD yesterday. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Jack Conan, Joey Carbery, Jack McGrath, Rhys Ruddock and Andrew Porter could all come in after starting on the bench in Bilbao, but with Leinster taking Monday off to go through some video review sessions, discussions over selection will only start today when the squad return to the training pitch.

“We were talking about that this morning. We sat down and talked about that. Do we need to freshen it up,” Fogarty continued.

“The decisions won’t be made fully until tomorrow at least, I’d say even in Leo’s mind. I think they’re really good examples. This year we’ve come off big wins and we went away to Ospreys and got done. We went away to Connacht and got done, so there’s huge lessons that we’ve learned this year as a group. The lads are far more aware of that.

“Stuart and Leo have been very vocal and have reminded them and I think today, when Stuart presents the Racing game, he’s going to be talking about being us mentally ready for Munster and he will remind them about what’s happened. And like I said, hopefully we can learn, and hopefully this group can learn.”

After lifting a fourth European crown on Saturday, Leinster have now got their eyes on a first double having lost Pro12 finals to Munster and the Ospreys in 2011 and 2012 after reigning supreme on the continent.

Fogarty added: “It is a test. It’s going to be a test for us at the weekend from that side of things. Can we get it done now? Can we get it done after we’ve won the European Cup? Where’s the group at?

“Hopefully we can get it done.”

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