Scarlets looking to make amends
Dave Kearney the main injury concern ahead of Saturday’s semi-final with the Warriors
Leinster’s Dave Kearney: team manager Guy Easterby confirmed that Kearney underwent an impact test yesterday and is awaiting the results. Photograph: Inpho
Scarlets’ coach Simon Easterby chose to issue an apology to his team’s supporters in the wake of last weekend’s 41-17 thrashing by Benetton Treviso at Parc y Scarlets. The team left the field to boos from their own supporters.
The Welsh franchise owe their place in the Pro 12 semi-final against Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday night (7.45) to Leinster’s – his brother Guy is team manager – victory over the Ospreys at the RDS last Friday night. It was a consolation of sorts but only if Llanelli deliver a performance in Belfast.
Simon Easterby admitted: “It was embarrassing and there are other words I could use to sum up the way I am feeling. It was an unacceptable performance. We were particularly poor.”
Bang to the ribs
Lions and Wales wing George North took a bang to the ribs but is expected to recover in time.
Meanwhile, Leinster expect to have Gordon D’Arcy, Isaac Boss, Dominic Ryan and Seán O’Brien back from injury, while coach Joe Schmidt will also be able to call upon Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip, Kevin McLaughlin and Mike Ross, who were rested for last weekend’s victory over the Ospreys.
Heaslip is due to have stitches removed from a leg wound today or tomorrow and Leinster will be hoping there is no reaction when he returns to training.
The main concern remains Dave Kearney, who hasn’t played since the Munster match.
Team manager Guy Easterby confirmed that Kearney underwent an impact test yesterday and is awaiting the results.
“He hasn’t passed one yet and is still getting a few symptoms when running but they seem to have lessened.”
Ireland Under-20 international Luke McGrath became the province’s latest debutant against the Welsh side, while Andrew Conway became only the second Leinster player to score a hat-trick of tries this season (after Dominic Ryan against Benetton Treviso in February).
Jonathan Sexton, who sat out training yesterday, lies 13 points shy of the 1,000 career point mark for the province in his 107 appearances to date in all competitions.
Ulster coach Mark Anscombe will name an extended squad for Friday’s game at lunchtime today and it’ll be interesting to see if Luke Marshall, voted the tournament’s young player of the year, is back following persistent concussion issues.