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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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Van der Flier and Gibson-Park back in contention for Leinster's Pro14 semi-final

Leo Cullen’s side must pick themselves back up for Saturday’s visit of Munster to the RDS.

ALLOWING FOR THE expected physical and mental scars from the bitter disappointment of Saturday, Leinster have reported a relatively clean bill of health ahead of their Guinness Pro14 semi-final against Munster.

Leo Cullen’s players reconvened at their UCD base this afternoon as a disconsolate squad bid to pick themselves back up from their first European final defeat at the hands of Saracens.

Jamison Gibson-Park Gibson-Park could be back to boost Leinster. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

While Leinster will not train today and only have two pitch sessions this week, much of the focus now revolves around getting the bodies right in anticipation of Saturday’s inter-pro showdown at a sold-out RDS [KO 2.30pm, eir Sport/Premier Sports].

The squad will conduct a collective review — as painful as that will be — this afternoon and then turn the page as quickly as possible, beginning preparations for Munster on the training paddock on Tuesday.

As was the case last year when Cullen made six changes from Bilbao, the province are likely to rotate resources where necessary this week, and Leinster will at least have both Jamison Gibson-Park and Josh van der Flier back in contention.

Gibson-Park has shaken off the hamstring injury that kept him out of the Champions Cup semi-final and final and is due to return to full training this week, while van der Flier continues to hit all the right markers in his remarkable comeback.

The flanker’s season looked over when he had surgery on his groin during the Six Nations, but again van der Flier has made an ahead-of-schedule recovery and is set to boost Leinster this weekend. 

Although he was withdrawn early in the second half on Saturday, Seán Cronin was not included on Leinster’s injury update this afternoon, but Joe Tomane is likely to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring strain.

The Wallaby back picked up the injury in training last week and will be unavailable for Munster as a result. 

Barry Daly [collarbone], Mick Kearney [shoulder], Dan Leavy [knee] and Adam Byrne [quad] are all long-term absentees.

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Ryan Bailey

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