Squad Updates for the Irish Provinces
With only 2 wins from 4 games all the provinces will know there is a lot of work to be done to improve on last week. Lets take a look at how the Irish and their opposition squads are shaping up.
Darragh Fanning and Gordon D’Arcy are expected to be passed fit for the game in the Aviva on Saturday night even though they both sat out training on Tuesday. There could be a welcome return for three Irish internationals to the match day squad. Dominic Ryan, Richardt Strauss and Dave Kearney all look in good shape with a final decision on their participation being made on Thursday.
The Quins have suffered a major blow to their chances of a win in Dublin with Chris Robshaw and Nick Evans both being ruled out through injury. Evans who limped off in the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday is suffering a groin strain while Robshaw looks to be out with a shoulder injury. The injury to Rosbshaw is a lot more serious, with him requiring a consultation with a specialist. Evans is expected back next week to face the Newcastle Falcons.
Leinster vs Harlequins – Aviva Stadium, Saturday 7.45pm. Live on BT Sport
The only definitive call on the injury front has been made regarding Gerhard van der Heever. He will play no part in the game against Clermont due to a knee injury. Dave Kilcoyne and James Cronin are continuing to be assessed by the medical staff to see whether either could play a role on Sunday.
Forwards coach Jono Gibbs, formally of Leinster, confirmed that Clermont would have a full competent of players to choose from on Sunday. Not great news for the men in red.
Clermont vs Munster – Stade Marcel Michelin, Sunday 3.15pm. Live on Sky Sports
Neil Doak likened his changing room after the victory over the Scarlets to a ‘war zone’. Wiehahn Herbst and Nick Williams are highly unlikely to feature. There remains hope over Franco van der Merwe and Stuart Olding while Stuart McCloskey has been ruled out with an elbow injury. This was the last thing Doak needed with the likes of Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Jackson, Chris Henry and Iain Henderson currently injured. Although one positive is that Luke Marshall should return after a knee injury.
The only two issues facing the Scarlets are with flanker James Davies and fullback Liam Williams. The medical team is assessing both with a decision being made tomorrow or Friday.
Scarlets vs Ulster – Parc y Scarlets, Sunday 5.15pm. Live on BT Sports
Andrew Browne and Ian Porter have both been ruled out of Saturdays trip to Bayonne. It is still unclear whether second row Mick Kearneys ankle strain will be serious enough to rule him out. More positive news sees Quinn Roux passed fit to play and also the return of pacey winger Niyi Adeolokun who is expected to feature on the weekend.
All black legend Joe Rokocoko is available for selection against Connacht having sat out the clash at the Sportsground. Also, don’t be surprised to see Australian Mark Chishlom from the start this time having remained an unused substitute in Galway. There were no major injury concerns to report.
Bayonne vs Connacht – Stade Jean-Dauger, Saturday 8.15pm. Live on FR4/beIN