The Irish provinces are back to work today after a gruelling weekend of European rugby as the PRO14 nears its climax with playoff spots still up for grabs.
Munster and Leinster can both look forward to another day out at European level due to their respective wins while the PRO14 will be the sole focus for Connacht and Ulster after their departures from European competition.
There are only three regular season fixtures left in the PRO14 and here we take a look at the state of the Irish provinces’ squads ahead of a crucial weekend of action.
Munster’s win over Edinburgh certainly took its toll with the likes of Jack O’Donoghue and Joey Carbery leaving the field in the first half.
O’Donoghue failed a HIA during the win and he will follow the Return-To-Play protocols this week. Carbery, meanwhile, suffered an injury to his left hamstring and he will be assessed further today before a predicted return to action can be determined.
The following players are progressing with rehabilitation: Brian Scott (foot), James Cronin (leg), Tommy O’Donnell (shoulder).
The big news from Leinster is that Dan Leavy will miss the remainder of the season and the World Cup due to the complex knee ligament injury he sustained in the win over Ulster at the Aviva Stadium.
Rory O’Loughlin will not be available for selection for Leinster’s upcoming clash with Benetton after the centre suffered a minor hamstring injury.
Both Jamison Gibson-Park and Rhys Ruddock will follow the Return-To-Play protocols this week. Gibson-Park was removed in the second half against Ulster while Ruddock reported head and neck issues after the game.
Johnny Sexton will be assessed this week after feeling tightness in his quad ahead of the clash with Ulster and Robbie Henshaw will continue his recovery this week having not played since Ireland’s opening Six Nations loss to England.
Devin Toner will increase his training load this week and will be further assessed ahead of selection at the weekend.
In more positive news, Will Connors will return to full training after recovering from his ACL injury and Robbie Henshaw will step up his recovery this week.
Connacht & Ulster
Both provinces will issue injury updates on Tuesday but for the western province, their main concern will be the fitness of Jack Carty and Finlay Bealham. Carty suffered a bicep injury in the loss to the Sale Sharks in the Challenge Cup on Friday night while Bealham suffered a nasty looking hand injury.
For Ulster, the immediate concern will be that of Rory Best. The Ireland captain left the field early on with an ankle injury.