The Connacht squad were back to training on the final Monday of 2013 as preparations stepped up ahead of the PRO12 clash with reigning champions Leinster on Saturday 4th January (kick off 7:15pm).
Scrum half Frank Murphy suffered a concussion during his 100th game for Connacht against Munster at the weekend. The Cork-man has been ruled out of action for this week’s game against Leinster.
It is hoped that fullback Gavin Duffy, who left the field during the second half at Thomond Park with a shoulder injury, will recover in time for the New Year derby.
Ahead of Friday’s team announcement, the medical staff will continue to monitor the recovery of flanker Jake Heenan (shoulder). The 21-year-old was forced to sit out his first game of the season last week with his injury.
Pat Lam’s squad has been boosted by the return from injury of forwards Michael Swift, Sean Henry and Ronan Loughney who all trained yesterday and will put their hands up for selection this week.
Meanwhile, out half Craig Ronaldson (hamstring) faces at least another two weeks on the side-lines while centre Dave McSharry (ankle) will be out of action until after the well-earned January break at the end of the month.
Connacht v Leinster
At the Sportsground, 7:15pm Live on TG4
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 57th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan, Ollie Hodges (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Denis Templeton (IRFU)
TMO: Jude Quinn (IRFU)
Tickets can be purchased online from tickets.ie, from the Connacht Rugby ticket office(closed on 1 January 2014) at the Sportsground or from Centra and SuperValu stores province-wide.
Adult tickets start at €25 while it’s €5 for all Juniors.