Thursday 14 December 2017

Leo Cullen could call on Cian Healy at weekend

D'Arcy may have played his last game in blue as he sees specialist

Leo Cullen
Leo Cullen

Leinster can call on Cian Healy to take his first hit out of the season against Cardiff Blues in the PRO12 League on Saturday.

The rule governing Joe Schmidt's squad is that any of the 31 can tog out for their club until they set foot on the plane for the outward journey to the World Cup.

For example, Scotland World Cup squad member Josh Strauss played at blindside for PRO12 champions Glasgow at the weekend.

Coach Leo Cullen had not received contact from Schmidt about the possibility of Healy playing as of yesterday lunch-time.

"Everything is on a case-by-case," said Cullen.

"It's important to have the link. He is a Leinster player. He potentially would be helpful to us, if he was available."

It would also be an aid to Schmidt to test out Healy's neck and shoulder unless the loose-head is doing what he has to under the umbrella offered by the Irish medical staff.

Gordon D'Arcy may have played his last match for club or country given how his shoulder was scanned last week, prompting further investigation.

"He's going to get assessed by a specialist this week. It has been an ongoing issue that he's trying to get through," reported Cullen.

The Wexford man's contract expires next month and it could be that his playing career is over.

It would be a sad way for Leinster's record-cap holder, on 257 appearances, to depart a sport the 35-year-old has graced with his excellence into his 18th season in blue.

It is now quite possible that he will not play a single competitive match for Leinster during his four-month contract.


Ireland's Rhys Ruddock and new signing Mick Kearney will both aim to return from his arm operation against The Dragons on October 3rd.

There is little chance of Ruddock being called into the World Cup equation in the event of injury.

He just hasn't had the game minutes, while Jack Conan impressed Schmidt enough with what he brought to be stationed on standby.

Marty Moore underwent an operation on a cracked metatarsal last Friday.

"He had a screw put in to secure the area. Hopefully, this will give him more stability in his foot going forward.

"We're hoping it will be only four weeks," estimated Cullen.

Current club captain Kevin McLaughlin and second row Tom Denton will be monitored as they both bid to recover from blows to the head against Edinburgh last Friday night to contribute against Cardiff.

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