Sunday 23 September 2018

Captain Cullen could make comeback against Scarlets

Leinster's Leo Cullen. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Leinster's Leo Cullen. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

LEO CULLEN could make a sensational return to action against the Scarlets in the PRO12 League on Saturday night.

The club captain will wait until later in the week to see whether he can convince the medical staff that he is ready to play for the first time this season following surgery to his heel.

The veteran last played for Leinster against Ulster in the PRO12 League Grand Final back in May.

Devin Toner's three November caps for Ireland means coach Matt O'Connor is not long on options in the second row with Quinn Roux and Tom Denton, backed up by Ben Marshall, holding the fort against Treviso on Sunday.

The Leinster hierarchy has opened discussions with the IRFU to extend Lote Tuqiri's three-month contract, which is set to expire on Saturday.

The Australian poached his first try for the province in Treviso and was far more prominent than he had been in his three previous appearances now that he has finally shaken off a hamstring issue.

"That is still up in the air," said team manager Guy Easterby on Tuqiri. "We are hopeful that we might be able to keep him on. But, that isn't finalised yet."

There was also news that the Blues have received permission to sign a hooker, in light of Richardt Strauss's long-term absence, believed to be from a New Zealand ITM club and are waiting on a work permit.

Treviso match-winner Jimmy Gopperth and Springbok Zane Kirchner, a used replacement out in Italy, are expected to play their parts against the Scarlets.

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