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Friday 15 December 2017

Leinster's Lions return to add bite

Jonathan Sexton
Jonathan Sexton

British & Irish Lions Jonathan Sexton, Seán O'Brien, Tadhg Furlong, Jack McGrath and Robbie Henshaw are all on course to return for Leinster against Edinburgh in the PRO14 League on Friday night.

The physical toll of the season and the drawn series in New Zealand is detailed by the fact all but McGrath have had to overcome injury to get to this point.

They will be augmented by new father Devin Toner, whose wife has given birth to son Max, and expectant father Scott Fardy, who's wife Penelope Austin is due their first child any day.

Leinster will have a fractured build up to Richard Cockerill's Edinburgh as the South African contingent of the squad only arrived back in Dublin yesterday.

They will have a rest day today and won't make it out to the field until tomorrow.

Scrum-half Luke McGrath (arm) and wing Fergus McFadden (hamstring) are expected to be available.

Sadly, club captain Isa Nacewa (calf) and James Ryan (foot) will not make it this week.

In terms of the long-term absentees, Lancaster took care to quiet any concerns over Jamie Heaslip's ability to make it back from back surgery.

"He is going to get there, but it is the not knowing that is most frustrating for him," said the senior coach.

"It is an injury in the back which you don't want to take any risks with.

"We want to make sure he is 100pc right before he comes back.

"But he will be back."

Centre Garry Ringrose has not deviated from his rehabilitation schedule after a shoulder injury.

"His target from surgery has always been late October and that hasn't changed."

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