Ireland head coach Andy Farrell is facing an anxious wait on the fitness of Johnny Sexton after Leinster confirmed the out-half will be unavailable for this weekend’s Guinness Pro14 meeting with Benetton. Sexton was withdrawn midway through the first half of the 35-5 thrashing of Dragons last Friday with a leg issue, with Cullen stating after the game that the Ireland captain was only removed as a precautionary measure.

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“He’s fine,” Cullen said, adding: “Johnny’s a precaution, yeah.”

But Leinster have today confirmed that following assessment over the weekend and again this morning, Sexton will miss this weekend’s game due to what has been described as a minor hamstring injury.

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The news will concern Ireland head coach Farrell with a busy international window fast approaching. Ireland are due to resume their postponed Six Nations season in just under three weeks’ time when they host Italy at the Aviva Stadium on October 24. A packed autumn schedule continues with a Six Nations trip to France before the November internationals get underway.

Sexton was not the only Leinster casualty following a bruising return to Pro14 action.

Prop Andrew Porter was withdrawn in the second half with a hamstring injury and will now be further assessed later this week.

Meanwhile Ciarán Frawley, who was also withdrawn during the Dragons game, will go through the graduated return to play protocols after sustaining a facial injury in the early stages of the game.

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Max Deegan suffered a knee injury having come on as a substitute and will undergo further scans before a full diagnosis is known.

Dave Kearney is due to increase his involvement in training today as he looks to recover from his own hamstring injury.

There was no new update provided on Dan Leavy (knee), Tadhg Furlong (calf), Dan Sheehan (cheekbone), Vakh Abdaladze (back), Conor O’Brien (hamstring) and Adam Byrne (hamstring).

Defending Pro14 champions Leinster made a winning start to the new Pro14 campaign at the RDS last Friday and will look to continue their impressive winning streak – which stretches back to the final day of the regular 2018/19 season – when they travel to play Benetton on Saturday.

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