Sexton removal 'a precaution' but Leinster worried about Deegan knee injury

The out-half was replaced after just 23 minutes of the win against the Dragons.

LEINSTER BOSS LEO Cullen says Johnny Sexton’s first-half removal in the win over the Dragons was “a precaution” and indicated that the 35-year-old should be ok for Ireland’s autumn Test series.

The out-half left the pitch with a calf injury after just 23 minutes of Leinster’s bonus-point 35-5 win over the Dragons at the RDS.

johnny-sexton-goes-off-injured Ryan Byrne / INPHO Sexton left the pitch after just 23 minutes. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Leinster head coach Cullen opted against going into any great detail post-match but indicated that Sexton “is fine” and added that further examinations on his calf tomorrow would provide clarity.

“Johnny’s a precaution, yeah,” said Cullen. 

The playmaker walked off the pitch without having received any treatment, having just set up Jordan Larmour’s try, and Ireland boss Andy Farrell will hope to have him fully fit for the restart of the 2020 Six Nations in three weekends’ time.

Tighthead prop Andrew Porter was forced off in the second half with a leg injury – Ireland and Farrell already has injury worries in that position with Tadhg Furlong and Tom O’Toole – but Cullen seemed most concerned about back row Max Deegan, who was also replaced in the second half of the win over the Dragons.

“Max looked the one… it’s his knee I think,” said Cullen.

“The other two didn’t seem to be too bad. I think they’re OK.”

Meanwhile, inside centre Ciarán Frawley lasted only 10 minutes of the contest at the RDS before he was forced off with a head injury.

“Ciaran went off with a bang on his eye,” said Cullen. 

Leinster secured a bonus point in their win at the RDS and Cullen was content as they now look towards a visit to Italy to play Benetton next weekend.

“Overall, I thought the guys showed good intent to play and good energy, forced a lot of pressure on Dragons both sides of the ball,” said Cullen.

“First half was good, obviously a few disruptions to deal with and manage. Ross Byrne and Tommy O’Brien came in, Tommy after 10 minutes, so overall we’re pleased to get a win to get up and running.

“We’ve got a bonus-point win on the board and now we move onto the challenge of Treviso, a big, physical team. We saw their result in Ulster and we played them a lot last season, they were in our group in Europe.

“It’s another big week for us and then we have a sort of break, the national guys will go off into camp for a new challenge so next week is probably the last opportunity for a lot of guys to put their hand up for selection for that as well.”

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