Sean O'Brien a doubt for Champions Cup semi but two Ireland players return from injury
Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster has rated flanker Sean O'Brien's chances of playing in this Saturday's Champions Cup semi-final with the Scarlets as '50/50'.
O'Brien returned from a shoulder injury against Treviso last weekend for what was just his second game of 2018 (after missing the entire Six Nations campaign with hip issues), however, the Ireland and British & Irish Lions backrower managed just 40 minutes in a disappointing 17-15 loss for Leinster.
Lancaster said that Tuesday's training session would provide a better indication for the availability of players this week but added that centre Robbie Henshaw (shoulder) and number eight Jack Conan (knee) should both be available for selection this weekend.
"In terms of all the selection decisions today is probably not the critical day," said Lancaster at Monday's squad update.
"Tomorrow we really need to be nailing it down so [O'Brien] he'd be 50/50 I'd say. On a more positive front, Jack Conan is back for us so that is obviously a bonus.
"Robbie Henshaw is back so that's another bonus and Seanie will push hard and same with Luke McGrath [ankle] but we'll have to make those decisions in the next 24 hours really so we can get some cohesion into the starting team."
Leinster hopeful on having Luke McGrath, Robbie Henshaw AND Jack Conan available this weekend
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) April 16, 2018
Leinster injury update pic.twitter.com/2v3vDsvH0Z
— Sinéad Kissane (@sineadkissane) April 16, 2018
Lancaster hailed Henshaw as a 'world-class' player and said that he's in the best condition in he's seen the 24-year-old since he joined Leinster in September 2016.
"It was great to have him back last week," Lancaster said of Henshaw.
"He was 24th man at the weekend so today is a good day for him. [He can] reconnect with Johnny [Sexton] and Garry [Ringrose] and those sort of combinations.
"It's been a good couple of days and he's a world-class player in my opinion. If there was one player that we didn't want to lose around the time we did it was him so it's a huge bonus to have him back.
Lancaster continued: "Robbie is in better condition than I've ever seen him.
"If you look at the way they measure his speed - he's achieved his quickest speed. He's done his best fitness test. He looks lean and fit and he's such a good player.
"He's been in every meeting, it's not like he's been in a different part of the building, he's been in every meeting.
"He's prepped and I'm absolutely certain he'll be up to speed."
The Hard Yards
James Downey joins us to preview Munster & Leinster's Champions Cup semis, and we chat to Jason Harris-Wright
A weekly show bringing you expert analysis, opinion, and the latest news on all things rugby.Join us for unique insights into the game and exclusive behind-the-scenes tales from players