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Monday 11 December 2017

Drico expected to make squad

Centre to get hamstring right in time for Connacht trip

LEINSTER are optimistic that they will be able to include Brian O'Driscoll in their squad when it is announced this afternoon for Saturday's Magners League trip to Connacht.

The centre picked up a hamstring injury in the home Heineken Cup win over Racing Metro 10 days ago and acted as water boy for Saturday's win over Saracens at Wembley.

Luke Fitzgerald wore the No13 shirt in O'Driscoll's absence but picked up a hip injury. Results of his scan are expected today and Fergus McFadden is ready to step in should both players miss out on the Sportsground clash.

Connacht, meanwhile, have received a huge boost as tighthead prop Jamie Hagan is set to be fit to face the Blues.

The 23-year-old limped off with an ankle problem in Friday's 16-13 home win over Bayonne and it was feared he might be out for some time as it was the recurrence of an old injury. But coach Eric Elwood confirmed that Hagan is likely to be fit to face his native Leinster in Galway.

Connacht are bidding for a third straight home win over Leinster but Elwood expects a tough test.

"They are coming into this on the back of some good results but we will go in with confidence as well after our win over Bayonne. So it should be a great derby match," said Elwood.

Elsewhere, after suffering a suspected recurrence of his calf injury against Toulon, luckless Munster hooker Jerry Flannery met a specialist yesterday to assess the extent of the damage -- and he is considered a doubt for next month's internationals.

Meanwhile, the Lions are unlikely to appoint a home nations coach to lead the 2013 side and will only pursue Warren Gatland if he can agree a break clause with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Tour manager Andy Irvine has revealed that the Lions committee have major reservations about selecting a head coach who will also be involved in the Six Nations that year.

However, talks are planned with the WRU over the possibility of securing Gatland on a temporary basis should he be identified as the right man for the tour to Australia.

Only yesterday Gatland agreed a new contract extension that will see him remain as Welsh head coach until 2015, and the WRU's response is unlikely to be positive.

If Declan Kidney fancies a shot at coaching the Lions when they head Down Under in 2013, he will have to think twice about any contract extension the IRFU may offer him after next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

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