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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Cronin and McFadden in race to be fit for Leinster's European opener

The province kick off their campaign against Benetton midway through next month.

Sean Cronin (file photo.)
Sean Cronin (file photo.)
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

BOTH SEAN CRONIN and Fergus McFadden are in a race against time to be fit for Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool One opener against Benetton on 16 November.

Following a scan on the neck injury that ruled him out Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final defeat to New Zealand, Cronin has been ruled out of action “for the next few weeks”.

McFadden injured his elbow during a recent training session and will also be kept on the sideline for a sustained period. The Kildare man has already featured for Leinster in the current campaign, bagging a try in last month’s facile victory over Ospreys in the PRO14.

While Cronin’s injury is thought to be the least serious of the two, he will nevertheless face a delayed return to competitive fare. In his absence, James Tracy, Bryan Byrne and Ronan Kelleher will be vying for a starting spot at hooker.

Meanwhile, Ed Byrne (neck) and Ciaran Frawley (ankle) are expected to increase their training load as the week progresses. Hugo Keenan suffered an ankle injury in the latter stages of Saturday’s win over Zebre and will be assessed ahead of the home PRO14 clash with Dragons on Friday.

Jack Conan (foot), Barry Daly and Dan Leavy (both knee) all remain on the long-term absentee list.

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