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Lancaster confident Sexton will hit the ground running against Toulouse

The influential out-half has been sidelined with a quad injury, so could make his first Leinster appearance of the year this Sunday.

File photo: Sexton and deputy out-half Ross Byrne in Leinster training
File photo: Sexton and deputy out-half Ross Byrne in Leinster training
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

LEINSTER SENIOR COACH Stuart Lancaster is confident out-half Johnny Sexton will hit the ground running when he returns from injury for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 15.15).

Sexton has not played since Ireland’s Six Nations concluded in Cardiff five weeks ago, the same gap between matches which he bridged by facing England in the tournament opener, meaning he has yet to play for Leinster in 2019.

However, Lancaster today reported that the captain returned to training last week and will take a full part from today.

“He trained at the end of last week. We had a session on Thursday, the non-23 (for Glasgow) trained Friday, I took that session, and he trained in that fine. It’s good to get him back,” said Lancaster before backing his 10 to hit his straps.

It’s not like he’s been sat doing nothing. He’s analyzing, he’s been training last week, he looks in great condition aerobically as well as physically. The experience he can draw on, given the number of games he’s played, I’m confident he’ll come back in and be fine.

“The big advantage was that he trained and trained well (last week). It allowed him to get ahead of his preparation for this week as opposed to preparing for Glasgow.”

Lancaster also signalled Devin Toner and Robbie Henshaw had come through their returns from injury unscathed, while Rory O’Loughlin will train in full this week.

Tadhg Furlong, who was withdrawn as a precaution against Glasgow with a knee injury, is expected to train in full from tomorrow’s session.

The province’s medical team also confirmed that second row Mick Kearney will miss the remainder of the season after surgery on a shoulder injury.

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Sean Farrell

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