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Farrell 'touch and go' for Saracens' showdown with Leinster after quad injury

George Kruis is also struggling with a back injury and Billy Vunipola is unlikely to be fit for next weekend.

Farrell sat out Sarries' win over Harlequins yesterday.
Farrell sat out Sarries' win over Harlequins yesterday.
Image: David Rogers

OWEN FARRELL HAS emerged as a serious injury doubt for Saracens’ Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster next weekend, while England second row George Kruis is also facing a race against time to be fit.

Farrell suffered the quad injury during England’s defeat to Ireland in round five of the Six Nations and missed Saracens’ Aviva Premiership win over Harlequins at the London Stadium yesterday.

Kruis also sat out that game due to a back problem and both players are now said to be ‘touch and go’ to be fit for next Sunday’s Aviva Stadium showdown with Leinster, while Billy Vunipola (arm) is unlikely to return in time.

“We hope he will be [fit] but there’s no guarantee,” Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, said of Farrell.

“He’s got a quad injury, it’s a muscle injury and you never really know with these things.

“George Kruis has got a back injury, it is what it is and we’ll deal with what we have to do next week.”

Saracens warmed up for their visit to Dublin with an emphatic 24-11 win over Quins on Saturday, with Maro Itoje impressing after criticism of his performances during the Six Nations.

The 23-year-old was in sparkling form for Sarries, scoring the hosts’ second try with a surging run that saw him fend off a quartet of Quins players en route to the line.

“Maro was brilliant and looked like he was full of energy, full of life and he was deservedly man of the match,” McCall added.

Saracens v Harlequins - Aviva Premiership Source: NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Sometimes when people tell you that you look tired then you can feel tired, but Maro is not that kind of individual and I think he proved that.”

“He’s had a quiet week with us in terms of training. I think it’s very easy to freshen players up to be honest, but Maro is someone we are going to keep an eye on over the next four weeks.

“But it gives him a lot of confidence going into the big game next week.”

Victory left Saracens second in the table and on course for a top-four finish that will guarantee a place in title-deciding play-offs with four league games of the regular season remaining.

Leinster, meanwhile, have their own injury problems heading into the last eight tie in Dublin.

Leo Cullen’s men slipped to just their third defeat of the season last night, with Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid and Dave Kearney all going off injured during the 32-18 reversal to Ospreys.

McFadden and Reid sustained head knocks while Kearney lasted just 11 minutes before going off with a shoulder injury.

Leinster are already without Robbie Henshaw and Josh van der Flier, while Jordan Larmour is a doubt and Sean O’Brien and Rhys Ruddock are running out of time to prove their fitness for the Easter Sunday clash [KO 3.30pm, BT Sport].

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Ryan Bailey

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