What Ireland breaks, Leinster endures. It has always been thus and there are few complaints coming from Leinster coach Leo Cullen. He is now without two of his three world-class frontrow players, both of them injured playing in the Six Nations.
Andrew Porter’s procedure on his ankle will make him unavailable for two months, while Rónan Kelleher injured his shoulder against France making him unavailable for the games against Italy, England and Scotland. It is not known when the Irish hooker will make a return.
It is certain Porter will not be available for Ireland’s final two Six Nations matches as well as Leinster’s two European matches in April, the first and second leg matches against Connacht.
If Leinster get to a European quarter-final, it's also possible the Irish prop may miss that as it will be played over the weekend of May 6th. Jordan Larmour, who picked up a hip injury against Benetton on Saturday, will also be out for a number of weeks.
“Yeah, Andrew had been going really well so yeah it’s a loss,” said Leo Cullen. “We just need to get the guys back and get them fit and well again and play on with what we’ve got.
"[I'd] rather celebrate what we do have rather than what we don't. So yeah I'll see what Ireland do. Good opportunity for Cian [Healy], he'll get a decent number of minutes under his belt over the next few weeks. Peter Dooley, great to see him making his 100th appearance for Leinster at the weekend. Dooley, along with winger Adam Byrne, are set to join Connacht at the end of this season.
Cullen is hopeful that Porter can make it back and be part of the important Leinster matches.
“He’s so diligent at everything he does so we’ll be trying to keep the reins on him,” explained Cullen. “I’d imagine during his rehabilitation process because he’s good at pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, he’ll be back in quickish time. We’ll see how he goes over the next few weeks.
"Ed Byrne as well, who has started a number of these games over the last few weeks. A good opportunity for these guys to step up and show what they can do."
Healy, with over 100 Irish caps, has played in 10 Leinster games this season and started in three.