Thursday 14 December 2017

Healy eyes end to Blues' poor Galway form

Prop Cian Healy is aware of the special attention Connacht give to Leinster in Galway, having beaten them there on the past two occasions in the Magners League.

"It has been tough over the past three weeks, with high emotion and high pressure games. It's hard work on the body, but all of the lads know what to do and the recovery has been done," said Healy. "Everybody's going to be in good shape coming into The Sportsground. They're an improving team and, over the past couple of seasons, they have been becoming stronger.

"Over the past couple of years, the Leinster game was one of their targets and they probably saw it as a good opportunity to get one over us.

"There will be stiff opposition from them and The Sportsground is a tough place to go. But a few of the Leinster boys will be going out there with a real point to prove that it's not just big day occasions that we play for.

"There's an extra edge, personally speaking, when you're playing against players you know. It's the same when you play against Munster or Ulster.

"You know the players from the Ireland camps and, although you never really say it, it's good to get one over them."

Leinster could have Brian O'Driscoll on board on Saturday, although the significance of the Player Welfare Programme will surely take precedence.

Moreover, Luke Fitzgerald sustained bruising rather than bone damage during Leinster's 25-23 victory over Saracens at Wembley on Saturday and should be fit to resume training on Thursday, leaving the door open for Fergus McFadden and Eoin O'Malley to impress coach Joe Schmidt this week.

Captain Leo Cullen (shoulder) and out-half Jonathan Sexton (quad) are in flying form. They both came through the Saracens match without repercussions, while Ed O'Donoghue (knee), making good progress in his rehabilitation, could return to the Leinster squad for what is being billed as 'The Halloween Thriller' at home to Edinburgh on October 30.

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