Tuesday 12 November 2019

Van der Flier's season is at an end

READY TO PLAY: Dan Leavy got through the loss against Edinburgh. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
READY TO PLAY: Dan Leavy got through the loss against Edinburgh. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Josh van der Flier's season is at an end.

He underwent a procedure on his groin last Tuesday and will face into the grind of a 12-week rehabilitation process.

This should put the openside on course for a full and productive pre-season with Ireland.

More immediately, Ross Byrne is a doubt for the weekend with 'a tightness in his foot.'

It caused the out-half's late withdrawal in Edinburgh and could compromise Leinster.

Jonathan Sexton's back-up spot would then revert to Ciaran Frawley, who has been on something of a learning curve in recent months.

The quarter-final will come too soon for Robbie Henshaw, even though his training load increases this week.

Sean Cronin and Noel Reid are both in the middle of their return-to-play protocols in a race against the clock to face Ulster in the European Cup quarter-final on Saturday (KO 5.45, BT Sport 3).

It wasn't all bad news as Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joe Tomane and Nick McCarthy ticked the box of getting through their return minutes against Edinburgh.

In terms of the back-room, Leo Cullen would neither deny nor confirm that John Fogarty will be Ireland's next scrum coach.

Although the manner of his response to the question of Fogarty's whereabouts next season did nothing to dampen the speculation.

The former hooker has just not signed on the dotted line, yet.

There is a sense of inevitability about the promotion for one of the most popular people in Irish rugby.

This is not to dilute the expertise Fogarty has to offer.

It is just that he is one of those people who makes any environment a better place to be.

"From what I understand, in this scenario, there is interest in John because he's very good at what he does," said the coach.

"I think John was disappointed, shall we say, with some of the comments that appeared over the weekend from certain people, because they're not necessarily accurate.

"He is a man in demand, I would say."

Meanwhile, Munster's coach Johann van Graan is "confident" Joey Carbery will be fit to start against Edinburgh on Saturday (KO 12.45, CH4/BT Sport 3).

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