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Dublin: 2°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Van der Flier and O'Brien absent as Leinster look to finish with a flourish

Jordi Murphy comes in for the injured opensides for the final day clash with Treviso.

Garry Ringrose and Johnny Sexton will start against the Italians.
Garry Ringrose and Johnny Sexton will start against the Italians.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

DESPITE HOLDING OUT hope of having the powerful openside back in harness before the Pro12 play-offs, Leinster’s Sean O’Brien is still not fit to return to competitive rugby.

The Tullow Tank suffered a severe hamstring tear in Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to France and the province had hoped he would get some match minutes under his belt before the knock-out fixtures this month.

“Seanie had the high hamstring tear, which can be complicated,” head coach Leo Cullen said at the RDS this afternoon.

“”It’s slower than we would have liked, he’s had a bit of a setback, so we’ll have him assessed and we’ll have an update next week.”

The man who profited most from O’Brien’s absence, Josh van der Flier, will also sit out tomorrow’s season finale at home to Treviso (kick-off 3pm). The Wicklow man is nursing a damaged ankle following last weekend’s 30 – 6 loss to Ulster. Luke Fitzgerald ‘tweaked’ the medial ligament in his knee, but Cullen is hopeful that the Lion will be fit again when the semi-finals come around.

Jordi Murphy fills the number seven jersey in place of Van der Flier with Dominic Ryan on the bench.

There are three other changes to Leo Cullen’s starting line-up with Mike Ross, Eoin Reddan and Mick Kearney coming into the fray.

The province report that, so far, 13,800 tickets have been sold for the non-televised final day fixture.

Leinster (v Treviso)

15. Rob Kearney
14. Isa Nacewa (Capt)
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Ben Te’o
11. Dave Kearney
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Eoin Reddan

1. Jack McGrath
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Mick Kearney
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Jordi Murphy
8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Sean Cronin
17. Peter Dooley
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ross Molony
20. Dominic Ryan
21. Luke McGrath
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Noel Reid

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