Leinster fly Kelleher back to Dublin due to shoulder injury, Baird steps up rehab

The province have sent the hooker back from South Africa ahead of their meeting with the Stormers this weekend.

Leinster hooker Ronan Kelleher.
Leinster hooker Ronan Kelleher.
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

THERE IS MIXED news on the injury front for Leinster as Leo Cullen’s side prepare for their United Rugby Championship meeting with the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend, with the province also keeping one eye on their massive Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Leicester Tigers on 7 May.

Leinster took a 31-man squad to South Africa for back-to-back URC fixtures against the Sharks and the Stormers, leaving the majority of their international contingent at home to prepare for the trip to play Leicester at Welford Road.

And the province could welcome back Ryan Baird for that fixture, with the lock set to step up his rehabilitation in UCD this week.

Baird picked up a back injury during Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, and hasn’t played any rugby since the win over Italy in late February.

Leinster will also hope to have hooker Ronan Kelleher available after he was pulled from the team to start against the Sharks.

Kelleher travelled to South Africa in a bid to get his match fitness up after his own injury setback and had been due to start against the Sharks, but was withdrawn as precaution due to a minor shoulder knock.

The 24-year-old has now flown to Dublin and is set to be further assessed this week.

Meanwhile, fellow hooker James Tracy sat out the Sharks game after picking up a neck injury in training last week, but has remained with the squad in South Africa and could return for the Stormers game on Saturday.

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Max Deegan could also feature despite suffering a shoulder injury against the Sharks.

There were no further updates available on long-term absentees Dave Kearney (hamstring) or Will Connors (knee).

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Ciarán Kennedy

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