Leinster comfortable with Byrne as surgery sidelines Carbery for at least six weeks

Jonathan Sexton meanwhile continues to show promising signs in his hamstring rehab.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEINSTER BOSS LEO Cullen has confirmed that young out-half Joey Carbery has undergone surgery on his ankle and will miss the next six to eight weeks with the injury.

The Athy man picked up the problem in the first-half of last week’s bonus point win away to Northampton, forcing Cullen to give Ross Byrne his first taste of European rugby off the bench.

With Jonathan Sexton still going through hamstring rehab, Byrne is the only recognised 10 available to Cullen, but the head coach is comfortable fielding the former Ireland U20 star for the second clash with Saints.

“Ross has played probably the most of all the 10s,” Cullen said of the 21-year-old about to play his ninth game for his province.

“He’s played plenty and he’s ran the team well. He’s been waiting for his chance for a long time. It was probably a frustrating wait for him with a few injuries last year. He’s a good calm presence.”

Cullen remains hopeful that Sexton will play an inter-provincial fixture over the Christmas period as ‘he’s making really good progress, looking good and training well’. And although Carbery is sidelined until February, the operation is a relatively routine one for professional rugby.

“Quite a few of our players have had that operation. Depending on the individual it’s a six to eight week timeframe. All the reports say he’s going well and I’m looking forward to getting him back.”

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Ross Byrne to make first European start as Cullen names team for Northampton

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