2024 Leinster Rugby vs Stade Toulousain - Champions Cup Final

Leinster Rugby Handed Significant Injury Boost Ahead Of Champions Cup Final

Leinster Rugby Handed Significant Injury Boost Ahead Of Champions Cup Final

Get the latest updates on Leinster Rugby, as Ireland internationals return from injury ahead of crucial matches. Injury updates, team preparations included.

May 13, 2024 by Philip Bendon

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In the lead-up to Saturday's highly anticipated BKT URC derby against Ulster, Leinster Rugby has received a significant boost with the expected return of Ireland internationals James Ryan and Hugo Keenan to full training this week. 

Both players have been sidelined with injuries, but their impending comeback is a promising development for the team.

Ryan, a stalwart lock for club and country, has been out of action since undergoing arm surgery following an injury sustained during Six Nations training while on duty with Ireland. 

Similarly, Keenan, a dynamic fullback, has been diligently rehabilitating a hip injury and is eager to rejoin his teammates on the field.

The province confirmed the news of their return ahead of the crucial derby clash, which will serve as a vital preparation ground before Leinster takes on Toulouse in the Investec Champions Cup final the following week in London. 

Assistant coach Andrew Goodman expressed his excitement about Ryan's return:

"James Ryan and Hugo Keenan are expected to return to full training this week ahead of the game against Ulster this weekend.

"He's built well through his injury, and to have him on the field was a big lift for everyone on a wet Monday.

"We got through some good details there, and it set us up for a good weekend.

"Hugo's done well over the last few weeks, getting to increase his load, and he’s back in amongst the training, which is great.

"To have guys who have worked so hard off the field to come back in provides everyone with a good lift."

Asked whether the duo would be considered for the Champions Cup final, Goodman said, "Yeah, obviously, they both need to be playing rugby to be considered. We need to see how they get through the training week, first and foremost.

"We've got some selection decisions to make in terms of those boys coming back. It’s great to have competition and depth in key positions."

While the impending return of Ryan and Keenan signals a welcome reinforcement for Leinster, uncertainty lingers regarding the availability of Garry Ringrose, who is undergoing further assessment for a shoulder injury. 

The decision on Ringrose's participation will be made after a thorough evaluation of his condition, with the coaching staff mindful of his rehabilitation process.

"It's one of those ones that’s day to day," said the New Zealander, who will join the Ireland setup at the end of the season. "It’s frustrating for Garry, frustrating for everybody really, because he gets through a little bit, maybe a step back, and it’s one of those ones, assess it day to day, and we’ll see how he tracks over this week."

In addition to the positive news, Leinster also is anticipating the return of flanker Will Connors to full training after he was withdrawn from the previous match against Ospreys as a precaution. 

However, the team faces setbacks with the absence of back Liam Turner due to an arm injury sustained during training last week. 

Furthermore, hooker Lee Barron's season has been prematurely ended due to a shoulder injury suffered in South Africa, necessitating a procedure that will keep him out of action for the remainder of the campaign.

As Leinster navigates a mix of injury comebacks and setbacks, the team remains focused on its upcoming challenges. It aims to maintain its competitive edge and secure positive results in the matches ahead.

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