Sexton sidelined but Leinster set for boost of returning players against Munster

The 35-year-old suffered a head injury against Exeter two weekends ago.

Sexton suffered a head injury against Exeter.
Sexton suffered a head injury against Exeter.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEINSTER CAPTAIN JOHNNY Sexton is unavailable for his province’s Rainbow Cup opener against Munster on Saturday as he continues to deal with the effects of the head injury he suffered against Exeter two weekends ago.

The 35-year-old was forced off during that Champions Cup quarter-final clash, having also suffered a head injury during the Six Nations with Ireland.

Sexton missed the game against France in February after taking a blow to the head in the fixture versus Wales the previous weekend. He was also forced off with a head injury during Leinster’s Pro14 clash with Connacht back in early January.

Sexton went into the graduated return-to-play protocols after the Exeter game but Leinster say the out-half is “having further assessment and once complete and all information is to hand, a further update will be given.”

Leinster are due to face La Rochelle in the Champions Cup semi-finals in two weekends’ time and it remains unclear whether Sexton will be back in time.

The province did, however, report plenty of positive injury news today.

Caelan Doris and James Ryan, who have both been sidelined with concussion-related issues, are among four players due to step up their training loads this week with a view to possibly featuring against Munster.

Doris withdrew from Ireland’s Six Nations campaign back at the start of February and hasn’t played since January, but is now nearing a return.

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Second row Ryan suffered two head injuries during Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, missing the France fixture as a result. He has had a period of inaction due to those head injuries but will hope to come through training this week.

Leinster are also hopeful that Garry Ringrose [ankle], Will Connors [knee], and Jamison Gibson-Park will be available for the Munster game as they all step up their training loads this week.

Back row Scott Penny and versatile back Tommy O’Brien will be available for selection after fully recovering from hand and ankle injuries, respectively. 

Jack Dunne [ankle], Jimmy O’Brien [hamstring], Rowan Osborne [hand], Adam Byrne [quad], Dan Leavy [knee], Conor O’Brien [knee], and Max Deegan [knee] all remain on the injury list.

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Murray Kinsella

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