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Leinster hopeful on Sexton, Leavy and Nacewa but Henshaw is doubtful

The influential quartet are injury concerns ahead of the Guinness Pro14 final against Scarlets.

LEINSTER ARE HOPEFUL that key men Johnny Sexton, Isa Nacewa and Dan Leavy will overcome injury issues this week to feature in Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 final against the Scarlets, but Robbie Henshaw is highly unlikely to be fit.

Sexton missed last weekend’s semi-final win over Munster after picking up a calf injury in training, while Leavy was absent with a hamstring complaint.

Jonathan Sexton celebrates after the game Sexton missed the Munster game with a calf issue. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Nacewa suffered a calf injury in the Champions Cup final win over Racing 92 two weekends ago but started against Munster before being withdrawn at half-time of the 16-15 victory.

Henshaw, meanwhile, suffered a knee injury in the clash with Racing and missed out last weekend.

As captain, the retiring Nacewa is obviously a huge influence on this Leinster group, meaning he will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of Saturday.

“At this stage of the season, all the small things are that bit bigger,” said Leinster assistant coach John Fogarty today. “Isa is sore at the moment but we’re hopeful that he can get himself through the week and out onto the field.

“He’s obviously very important to us on the field but spiritually, to the group, he’s extremely important and everyone is pulling for him to get on the field. We’re hopeful he gets there.

“He will do everything he can, he’s a remarkable guy. He’s the kind of guy who can have very little physical prep but still get himself in a very good place to be able to perform for the team.”

Leinster will train on their pitch at UCD tomorrow, having completed only light walk-through work and video analysis in their training centre this morning.

The pitch session will allow Leinster to get a better view on the possible fitness of Sexton and Leavy too.

“Johnny had to be managed last week, but again we’re hopeful he can get through the week,” said Fogarty. “We’re not on the field until tomorrow, so we’ll see how he goes and it’s the same for Dan Leavy – he picked up a hamstring last week.

Dan Leavy Dan Leavy should be fit. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Again, we’re hopeful that Dan will get through the week. At this stage, we’re not certain whether they will or won’t.”

But Henshaw – who Leinster boss Leo Cullen previously said would be out for “a few weeks” – looks very unlikely to make a miracle recovery for this weekend, even if the province are refusing to officially rule him out yet.

The Ireland centre was out of his knee brace this morning for a light session with Leinster’s backs, but Fogarty admitted this weekend will probably come too soon.

“It’s doubtful Robbie is going to get there but we’ll do our best to get them all on the field if we can. It’s probably a little bit optimistic [to think that Henshaw will play]. Of all of them, he’s the one that is pretty doubtful.”

Dave Kearney is due to return to training with the province this week after a shoulder injury, although Leinster say he will also need to be further assessed in the coming days.

Fergus McFadden [hamstring], Sean O’Brien [shoulder], Josh van der Flier [knee] and Cathal Marsh [toe] are unavailable.

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Murray Kinsella

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