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Leinster expect O'Brien back next weekend, but planning without Cronin

A tight calf caused Leo Cullen to keep the Tullow Tank out of the Montpellier firing line.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEINSTER AND IRELAND back row Sean O’Brien was kept out of the matchday 23 for tomorrow’s crucial Champions Cup meeting with Montpellier as a precaution,  says head coach Leo Cullen.

The dynamic Tullow man started the province’s rout of Zebre last week, but was notable by his absence when the team-sheet was released today with Jack Conan and Josh van der Flier flanking Jamie Heaslip and Dan Leavy in reserve.

“He just had a bit of tightness in his calf this week,” Cullen said after this afternoon’s captain’s run at a chilly RDS.

“We didn’t take any risk with him. He should be available next week.”

While Cullen was also able to recall Rob Kearney as far as the replacements bench, the head coach is planning for next week’s visit to Castres without Sean Cronin, a hamstring injury hangs over the hooker’s run-up to the Six Nations.

Sean Cronin pulls up with a injury Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I’ll get a proper update next week. (Cronin) is just seeking an opinion this week. He’ll be out for a few weeks anyway. He won’t be back for this period. We’ll see exactly how long he is (out for).

“It’s not ideal. It looked reasonably innocuous at the time, but he’s done a bit of damage.”

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