BRENDAN MACKEN LOOKS set to extend his run in the Leinster starting XV for next weekend’s Heineken Cup visit of Castres as Brian O’Driscoll continues to struggle with a calf injury.
O’Driscoll has been forced to miss Leinster’s last two fixtures, away to Munster and Ospreys, with a calf injury.
Though the province say his recovery: “continues to respond well to treatment and it is hoped that he will resume some on-field activity later this week with a decision on his availability set to be made later in the week”; scrum coach Greg Feek suggested Saturday could come a week too soon.
“He’s progressing and working through his calf and that, so he’s probably a wee bit away yet,” Feek said at Leinster’s UCD base today.
Lote Tuqiri, who pulled up in the defeat to Munster, is also some way short of recovering from his hamstring issue. However, after Mike Ross [hamstring] was taken off in the first half of the Heineken Cup win against Ospreys, the prop looks to stand a 50-50 chance of packing down against the French champions at the RDS.
“We’re going to see how he goes,” Feek said of the player he works closest with.
“He’s a pretty important cog in the wheel for us, so we’ll give it as long as it takes to come right. If he’s not available then we’ll have to deal with that, but obviously it’s Heineken Cup week and Castres is not easy opposition.”
There is better news of flanker Shane Jennings who Feek said is “pretty close” to being ready for action again after nursing a broken thumb. The experienced openside could be a valuable addition to the Leinster replacements or even give Saturday’s man-of-the-match Sean O’Brien a little extra competition for the number seven jersey.