Johnny Sexton unlikely to play again before the Six Nations

James Ryan facing a fitness battle ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup clash with Lyon

Johnny Sexton is unlikely to play again ahead of the Six Nations. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Johnny Sexton is unlikely to play again ahead of the Six Nations. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Leinster lock James Ryan is a doubt for Leinster’s European Champions Cup match against Lyon on Sunday at the RDS, while outhalf Johnny Sexton is unlikely to feature in either of Leinster’s final two European pool games against the French side this week and Benetton the week after.

Secondrow Ryan was withdrawn in the first half of the game against Connacht last weekend with a calf injury and will be monitored throughout the week, before a decision is made on whether he is fit enough to face Lyon.

“We’ll see, we’ll see. It’s certainly not a long-term injury by any stretch of the imagination,” said Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster. “But he won’t be training today and we’ll obviously have to make a call by Wednesday really. It’s a Sunday game, which gives us a longer lead-in time. We’re hopeful but it’s not for certain.

“We wouldn’t take the risk. We’ve got Scott Fardy and Devin Toner, Ross Molony and Ryan Baird. We’ve got some good opportunities there if James isn’t available.”

Sexton, who injured ligaments in his knee playing in Leinster’s first game against Northampton, faces a time issue.

“We have got a Sunday game and a game again next Saturday so he (Sexton) would have to be on the training field playing full contact and training on Monday, Tuesday next week and that’s not going to happen,” said Lancaster.

Joe Tomane came though Leinster’s win over Connacht following a knee injury while a number of players, Michael Bent (calf), Rory O’Loughlin (shoulder), Ronan Kelleher (hand), Vakh Abdaladze (back), Jack Conan (foot), Barry Daly (knee) and Dan Leavy (knee) are unavailable for selection.

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