Ciarán Frawley’s shoulder injury to be assessed ahead of Emerging Ireland tour departure

Leo Cullen confirms outhalf suffered shoulder injury in Friday night’s win over Benetton

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen confirmed that Ciarán Frawley sustained a shoulder injury before his 45th-minute withdrawal in Friday night’s victory over Benetton and said the player would have to be assessed before a decision can be made about his participation in the forthcoming Emerging Ireland tour to South Africa, which leaves on Sunday.

That said, the Leinster head coach intimated that Frawley’s injury did not seem unduly serious.

“Yeah, he seems okay. He took a bang on the shoulder, but we’ll see. We’ll get him assessed. It was just before half-time, he was still a bit uncomfortable at the start of the second half, and with Ross [Byrne] there we just made a call.

“Stuart O’Flanagan is our doctor here, and he’s going on the tour, so he’ll be able to make the call.”


Caelan Doris was removed for an HIA in the sixth minute and did not return, although similarly Cullen appeared to intimate that the number eight′s head knock was also not unduly serious.

“Caelan took a knock. That’s one of the fine lines, your first game of the season, he’s gone through okay on his HIA 1, and the doc will make a call there. So he’s made the call which is fine. We’ll see how he goes through HIA 2, and he’ll go through the returns. He’s in the dressingroom there okay.”

James Ryan had been named to make his seasonal bow but was withdrawn after the captain’s run on Friday with what Cullen described as “a bit of tightness in the hamstring, nothing major, but it’s just that time of year. You’re making calls, being cautious this time of year, but we’re only getting going, so better to err on the side of caution.”

Asked about Frawley’s performance at outhalf, Cullen said: “Plenty of good touches. There was a lot of good play in the first half, but we got ourselves in trouble a little bit, and I think it’s to be expected at this time of the year. We’ve a lot of new combinations out there, overall we’re pleased.

“We’ve a huge amount of respect for Benetton, they’re a team we’ve really struggled with in recent seasons at different stages, so to get a comprehensive bonus-point win at home is great, and great to get a decent crowd, that’s what we want.”

The bonus point was a satisfactory first home game of the season, also for seeing a clutch of last season’s summer tourists make their returns.

“Overall, that’s the big challenge, guys coming back in, coming up against a Benetton team who have had two or three games in some cases, and had a big win last week.

“I know they made some big changes off the team who played last week, but they’ve a big squad as well. I thought the attitude was the big thing. Garry Ringrose led the team this week, he’s a quieter figure naturally, but all the lads have so much respect for him, and he led the team very well.”

Leinster now face Ulster, who did the double over them last season, at the Kingspan Stadium next Friday night.

“Ulster looked very impressive last week against Connacht, a big performance from them. We’ll have a look at their game tomorrow, see what that throws up and try and put a plan together. It’s always tough up there so it’s going to be a great challenge.”

As for the reports suggesting Stuart Lancaster has signed a deal to join Racing 92 from next season onwards, Cullen smiled broadly and said: “Stuart’s up for media Monday, you can ask him yourself.”

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times