Rhys Ruddock and Marty Moore close to return for Leinster
Ireland internationals Rhys Ruddock and Martin Moore are ready to line-up for Leinster for the first time this season at home to The Dragons in the PRO12 League on Saturday afternoon.
Both forwards were deemed near-certainties for the Ireland squad until injury intervened to tear down their dreams of a first World Cup campaign.
It is still not outside the bounds of possibility that one, or both, could be called into the World Cup were a prop or loose forward to come undone by injury.
Flanker Ruddock has made his way back from a twice operated on forearm fracture to prove his fitness to Leinster coach Leo Cullen.
Tight-head Moore has recovered from a foot surgery which scuppered his chances as late as a week before the squad was finalised.
There is more positivity in second row Tom Denton’s availability after passing his return-to-play protocols from a head injury taken against Edinburgh just under four weeks ago.
This leaves loose-head Ed Byrne (knee) and lock Mick Kearney (ankle) as the only long-term injuries in the wake of Kevin McLaughlin’s retirement.
Kearney returned from injury to play in the All-Ireland League for Clontarf last weekend only to damage his ankle.
The ticket sale for Leinster’s mouth-watering Champions Cup clash with Toulon has moved past 25,000.