Leinster open their European Champions Cup campaign for 2015/2016 on Sunday at home to Wasps knowing that it is a must-win game if they harbour ambitions of emerging from Pool 5. The three time Heineken Cup champions were drawn in a difficult group along with Wasps, Bath, and a Toulon side seeking a fourth consecutive crown. Leinster pushed the French powerhouses all the way last April in the semi-final, but ultimately lost out in extra time.
Leo Cullen’s side will know that they must win their home games if they are to have any chance of reaching the last eight, and first up is Wasps on Sunday.
However, the Irish province do have some major injury concerns, as Rob Kearney limped off during last Friday’s 19-15 win over the Llanelli Scarlets. Ben Te’o and Luke Fitzgerald also picked up knocks, but neither is thought to be overly serious.
However, the loss of Kearney would be a major blow to Cullen and Co., as they seek to get off to the perfect start.
Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey told the42.ie that they are not holding out much hope on the Ireland full-back returning to fitness by Sunday afternoon.
“Rob pulled up with tightness in his hamstring, he would be a concern and probably a major doubt with that hamstring strain.”
Kick-off in the RDS is at 1.00pm on Sunday.