The Leinster squad have stepped up their preparations for Saturday afternoon’s Heineken Cup Round 4 clash against ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Aviva Stadium (KO: 3.40pm) with a training session in UCD on Tuesday afternoon.
Following Sunday’s bruising encounter in France, in a game which marked Andrew Goodman’s European debut, there a number of bumps and bruises in the squad which will be monitored by the medical team. Amongst them is Kevin McLaughlin who took a heavy knock towards the end of the game but thankfully walked from the field afterwards.
His availability for selection will be decided later in the week, ahead of Friday’s lunchtime announcement. Sean O’Brien’s next appearance will be his 75th for the province in all competitions.
David Kearney and Eoin O’Malley could return to the panel this weekend as both continue to work hard on their respective rehabilitations, alongside another outside back Luke Fitzgerald who remains on course for a possible return to action over the Christmas interprovincial games against either Ulster away (December 21st) or Connacht in the RDS (December 29th).
In a boost to Leinster’s preparations this week, the attendance figure for Saturday’s game looks set to eclipse last year’s previous Irish pool record of 46,365 which was set by Leinster against Bath in the corresponding round last season. It will also be the biggest game of the Pool stages across Europe so far this season.
Over 46,000 tickets have already been sold for the ‘Christmas Craictacular’ in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and tickets are selling fast through www.leinsterrugby.ie, the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) as well as Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
This Saturday the Ronald McDonald House Charity, official Leinster Rugby charity partner, will be selling limited edition blue Santa hats outside The Aviva Stadium. Be part of the RMH Blue Army this weekend and buy a Santa hat for €2 with all proceeds going directly towards the new Ronald McDonald House on the site of the National Children’s Hospital. Over the past eight years RMHC has supported over 2200 families in Ireland #RMHBluearmy @RMHDublin.
Meanwhile, the Leinster ‘A’ team defeated Jersey away on Saturday in a game which marked Dominic Ryan’s successful return to action after a three month lay-off and the province will face the same side in a return British & Irish Cup fixture in Donnybrook on Sunday afternoon (KO: 2.30pm).