Ronan O’Gara is hopeful that a Mycro glove used in hurling will allow La Rochelle scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow to play against Leinster.
La Rochelle will play in their second Heineken Champions Cup final this Saturday, where they will face four-time champions Leinster at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
O’Gara will likely be without former All Blacks scrum-half Kerr-Barlow, as the New Zealander broke his hand in the semi-final against Racing 92, but the La Rochelle boss has revealed that he retains some hope his first-choice number nine will feature.
Ronan O’Gara on Tawera Kerr-Barlow.
The La Rochelle director of rugby was speaking at a press conference and revealed that he is hoping that a padded Mycro glove used in hurling could provide Kerr-Barlow’s hand with enough protection to allow him to play.
“I need to get some hurling advice and try and get one of those Mycro gloves. So we’ll see what we can do with that. I mean you’ve got to explore every possibility,” O’Gara said, via the Irish Times.
“Depending on his pain threshold, depending on his grip of the ball and depending on, well, the legality of it I think is okay. People have played with those hurling gloves in the past. We just have to wait and see with that.”
It all comes down to this 🏆
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— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) May 23, 2022
Will Skelton returns while Victor Vito is in doubt.
La Rochelle received a major boost at the weekend as Will Skelton made his return from injury, as the giant Australian lock came off the bench against Stade Francais.
Skelton caused massive problems for Leinster when La Rochelle beat the Irish province in last year’s Champions Cup semi-final and O’Gara will be hoping the Wallaby can have a similar impact this Saturday.
There was also some bad news for La Rochelle at the weekend as former All Blacks flanker Victor Vito suffered an ankle injury. The 35-year-old has not yet been ruled out of the Champions Cup final, but O’Gara admitted he is in a race against time.