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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Furlong was injured in the first half against Toulouse.
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'Tadhg seems to be OK' - Leinster give update on Furlong's ankle injury
The Wexford man was forced off in the first half of Leinster’s win over Toulouse.

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Leo Cullen gave a positive injury update on Tadhg Furlong after the tighthead was forced off with an ankle issue in the first half of Leinster’s 40-17 Champions Cup semi-final win over Toulouse in Dublin this afternoon.

Furlong had started the game superbly, throwing some stunning passes and bringing his usual level of physicality, but limped off in concerning fashion in the 17th minute, with two of Leinster’s medical team helping him to the touchline.

It appeared to be a very worrying injury for Furlong but Cullen looked to play down those fears after Leinster secured their place in the European final.

“Tadhg seems to be OK there now,” said Cullen.

“You can see him hobbling so he’s done something to his ankle but he doesn’t seem to be too bad. The extent of it will get figured out in the next couple of days.”

Leinster also saw hooker Rónan Kelleher forced off for a head injury assessment in the 47th minute of their impressive win, while wing James Lowe was treated on the pitch in the final minute after taking a knock.

“Rónan went off so he’ll go through the graduated return-to-play [protocols],” said Cullen, confirming that he doesn’t get the sense Kelleher is a doubt for the Champions Cup final.

“James took a bang at the end but he doesn’t seem to be too serious from first reports in there. We will get them all checked. James, it was just on his shin I think, but it didn’t seem to be too bad. We’ll see over the next couple of days.”

The reality is that Furlong, Lowe, and Kelleher were never going to play for Leinster next weekend against Munster in their final regular-season fixture of the URC anyway.

ronan-kelleher-and-dan-sheehan-celebrate-after-the-game Dan Sheridan / INPHO Rónan Kelleher was all smiles with Dan Sheehan after Leinster's win. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

With Cullen’s side having already secured top spot in the league and a home quarter-final with it, as well as a possible home semi-final, they are set to rotate their front-liners out for the Munster clash to ensure they are fresh for the Champions Cup final in Marseille in two weekends’ time.

The Irish province will take on the winner of tomorrow’s second semi-final between Racing 92 and La Rochelle. Leinster will watch on with interest, pleased after their four-try win over Toulouse today.

“Credit to the lads, there was lots of really good stuff in the game,” said Cullen. “It was amazing for them to run out in front of that crowd. It was a short week, so huge efforts to get that crowd there and for people to turn out in those numbers.

“That creates a lot of energy for the team and you can feed off that energy piece. 

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“The lads, they threw the kitchen sink at them but they hung in and hung in and they are always a constant threat. You could see that in the first half when we were attacking in the 22 and we lose possession and they are gone the length of the field so there was that constant threat the whole time.

“But for our guys, I thought it was a good performance overall, still parts that were weak. There is still room for growth as always but to deliver a big performance in the semi-final is pleasing.

“It’s great to get on to the next one so we’ll watch with great interest how Racing go against La Rochelle.”

Get instant updates on your province on The42 app. With Laya Healthcare, official health and wellbeing partner to Leinster, Munster and Connacht Rugby.

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