Porter, Kelleher, Larmour step up training load ahead of Connacht clashes

James Ryan and Ryan Baird remain sidelined ahead of the Champions Cup ties.

Porter will step up his training programme this week.
Porter will step up his training programme this week.
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

LEINSTER SAY THE Ireland international trio of Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, and Jordan Larmour will step up their training programmes this week as they bid to return from injury for the upcoming back-to-back Champions Cup clashes with Connacht.

However, second rows James Ryan and Ryan Baird both remain sidelined as the province turn their attention towards the European competition.

Hooker Kelleher has been sidelined since 12 February when he suffered a shoulder injury during Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to France in Paris, while Porter picked up an ankle issue in the round three victory over Italy on 27 February. Larmour sustained a hip injury while playing for Leinster against Benetton a month ago.

All three players are due to push on with their recoveries as they increase their training loads this week and Leinster say a decision will be made later in the week on their availability for Friday evening’s first Round-of-16 leg against Connacht in Galway.

23-year-old loosehead prop Michael Milne, who has been out of action with a calf injury, is in the same boat and could be available again as Leinster look to record away-and-home wins over Connacht.

Meanwhile, Leinster confirmed that out-half Ross Byrne is fully fit, having come through last weekend’s win over Munster with no issues after he had suffered a dental injury the previous weekend against Connacht in the URC.

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Having sat out last weekend’s game, captain Johnny Sexton is set to return for the province this weekend.

However, second rows Ryan [concussion] and Baird [back] both remain on the injury list along with Dave Kearney [hamstring] and Will Connors [knee].

Head coach Leo Cullen could bring Ross Molony and Joe McCarthy into his second row for the Connacht clash this Friday after Devin Toner and Jack Dunne started in the engine room against Munster last weekend.

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Murray Kinsella

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