Leinster likely to be without McFadden and Douglas for Dragons game

Wing sustained head injury against Bath while secondrow still struggling with back


are likely to be without wing Fergus McFadden and secondrow

Kane Douglas

for Sunday’s Guinness Pro12 match against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade (kickoff 4.15pm).


Rob Kearney

rolled an ankle but it is not a serious concern.

McFadden is following the return-to-play protocols after sustaining a head injury in a collision with Bath centre Kyle Eastmond during last Saturday's Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium.

Douglas, who missed the Bath match with a back injury, won’t play against the Dragons and is a doubt for Sunday week when Leinster take on two-time reigning European champions Toulon in Marseille.

Leinster assistant coach Richie Murphy said: "Ferg will probably struggle. I don't know whether he will be out yet or not but he is in the return-to-play protocol. A decision hasn't been made about him yet. His recovery is going well after that heavy knock at the weekend. He seems to be in a good place. Talking to him today he feels a lot better than he did on Monday.

“Kane probably won’t make this weekend. He is in the same position he was last weekend, struggling away with that back injury. Toulon is a target. We just don’t know at the moment. It is one of those things that could clear up in a day or two or it could linger on. It is just the nature of it seemingly.”

Given Ulster's recent capture of All Black Charles Piutau who will join them in 2016 and Munster's confirmation that another capped New Zealander Francis Saili will arrive for next season, Murphy was asked about any arrivals in Leinster.

He said that there were a couple of things in the pipeline. Isa Nacewa’s potential return in a player/coach capacity has already been mooted while there might be scope to add an Irish-qualified player from the southern hemisphere.

Murphy also conceded that Leinster didn’t take try-scoring chances against Bath.

“You can see that we haven’t made the right decision on the pitch, whether it be a pass or not passing; there are opportunities there. You can’t say when you’re going to get it right, but we’re not a million miles away and once you keep creating the opportunities we should be able to take them at some stage.”

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer