Sexton and Toner doubtful for Champions Cup match against Toulouse
Henshaw could make surprise return to the Leinster match-day squad
Leinster’s Johnny Sexton: he sustained a lower-leg injury in the game against Munster. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Jonathan Sexton (lower leg) and Devin Toner (ankle) are doubtful for Leinster’s Champions Cup match against Toulouse at the RDS on Saturday (1pm), but Robbie Henshaw could make a surprise return to the match-day squad after rehabilitating ahead of schedule of a hamstring injury sustained on international duty in November.
Sexton sustained the issue in the game against Munster, and has not trained since. Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Johnny has a lower-leg niggle. It’s not serious. He won’t train today [Monday]. We will assess him over the course of the next 24 hours. Dev [Devin Toner] won’t be training. He has an ankle [problem].”
If Sexton doesn’t train on Tuesday afternoon then he is less likely to play, while the same can be said for Toner. It explains why Ross Byrne did not start against Ulster, and was an unused replacement in last weekend’s match. He ran the backline at training on Monday afternoon.
Lancaster said of Henshaw: “Robbie’s done really well. He’s worked hard off the field. He’s in great condition. He put himself into contention for this game providing he ticks the final boxes today [Monday] and tomorrow [Tuesday].
“Basically there s a protocol you have to follow, markers you have to hit, strength, power etc. At the moment Robbie is ticking all those boxes. He has made great progress recently. Hopefully he will be back in the equation for the match day 23. By close of play tomorrow we will know for definite.
“Jack McGrath is fine, came through the [Ulster] game fine. He just won’t be training [on Monday].”
Rob Kearney and Barry Daly also emerged unscathed from the Ulster match, and will be available for selection. Dave Kearney (adductor strain) returned to training under medical supervision. Leinster’s 22-year-old centre Conor O’Brien looks set to be registered for European rugby.