Nacewa still a concern for Leinster

Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 00:00

Rugby:Leinster are likely to be without Isa Nacewa for this weekend’s Pro12 home game against Benetton Treviso as he continues his recovery from an arm injury sustained in the Heineken Cup victory away to Exeter Chiefs on January 19th.

The Fijian back missed Leinster’s 26-11 victory over Cardiff Blues in Wales last Friday and is set to skip Saturday night’s game at the RDS.

South African prop Heinke van der Merwe could make a return after also sitting out the Cardiff game with a leg injury, while Leinster team management also expect Fionn Carr to be fit.

Leinster also expect the return of a number of players who were part of the Ireland panel over the opening two rounds of the Six Nations, but who have had limited game time.

Munster prop Stephen Archer will return to full training tomorrow, although it is not sure yet if he will be available for the trip to Wales to play the Scarlets on Saturday.

Flanker Barry O'Mahony and outside back Sean Scanlon also return to training are expected to be available for selection.

Flanker Niall Ronan is expected to take a limited part in squad training this week while Doug Howlett and Felix Jones – both of whom underwent minor knee surgery recently - are on course for a return to action sometime towards the end of the month.

Howlett took over the team manager's role for the victory against Edinburgh at Musgrave Park last Saturday in the absence of Niall O'Donovan.

Ulster, meanwhile, announced this evening that Lewis Stevenson, Neil McComb and Sean Doyle have all agreed contract extensions with the province. Stevenson, who was involved with the Irish training squads prior to the Six Nations, has signed a deal that will keep him at Ravenhill until 2016.

Neil McComb will remain until June 2015, while Doyle has signed up until the end of next season. “I am delighted that these three players have committed to Ulster in the long-term,” Ulster’s director of rugby David Humphreys said.

“Lewis and Neil have been important to us all season, while Sean showed in his first few games what an exciting prospect he is. I have no doubt that they will only get better as players and that is good for Ulster.”

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