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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Heaslip heads host of returns for Scarlets clash

Leinster forwards coach Leo Cullen was wheeled out to relay the relevant information over the status of who will and will not be available for round two of the PRO12 League.

Jamie Heaslip and Devin Toner should be back. Rob Kearney could be. Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Gordon D'Arcy and Jordi Murphy won't be. Neither will Noel Reid.

Cullen spoke of how Leinster are "waiting on a full report" on Reid's scans from a nasty looking ankle injury: "He just jammed his ankle in the tackle just 35 to 40 seconds into the game". Leinster are not short of options at 12 with Ian Madigan willing and able to slot in at inside centre, Cullen also reserving a mention for 2013 Ireland U20s Tom Daly and Steve Crosbie.

However, these two do lack experience and it would seem more prudent to continue with Madigan on the shoulder of fly-half Jimmy Gopperth, or to bring Fergus McFadden closer to the action were Madigan given his first shot at ten.

The Scarlets will also bring the complication of the influence of Ireland's new forwards coach Simon Easterby with Cullen unsure about the exact current nature of Easterby's role at the club.

"I presume Simon has got good ideas when it comes to lineout and they like to play the game at a high tempo.

"We need to make sure we are aware of that," said Cullen.

There was also concern over how the Leinster scrum came under fire from an unheralded Glasgow front three in round one. There is room for improvement under the eye of specialist coach Marco Caputo.

Cullen begged to differ citing the try from a scrum and a penalty at another as exceptions to the rule.

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