Jonathan Sexton has lost his battle to be fit for Leinster’s crucial Heineken Champions Cup clash with Toulouse on Saturday, according to reports.
The World Player of the Year is carrying a minor calf injury and according to the Irish Independent, the province are not prepared to risk Sexton aggravating the injury, given the time of year. Ross Byrne is likely to start in his place.
The news will, no doubt, be welcomed by the Top 14 side as they look to complete back-to-back victories over their Irish rivals.
During their last titanic battle in October, Leinster were leading 21-27 with 10 minutes remaining but Louis-Benoit Madaule brilliantly intercepted a pass from Luke McGrath, allowing Maxime Medard to cross the try line, securing a 28-27 win.
That result left the four-time champions at the top of Pool 1 and they carried their fine form into December, taking nine points out of a possible ten from their back-to-back games with Wasps.
The winner of the game at the RDS will take control of the pool going into the final round of matches the following week which will decide who is heading to the knockout stages and who is heading out of Europe.
Leinster were already dealt a blow last week with the news that James Lowe will miss the pivotal encounter through suspension, following his red card against Munster.
The province have confirmed that the game at the RDS Arena is completely sold out with 18,500 tickets purchased by fans.
Leo Cullen will name his starting XV for the game tomorrow afternoon.
Kick off on Saturday is 1pm. The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2.