The 24-year-old sustained a horrific ligament injury to his knee in Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final victory against Ulster in March, and is now set to miss the World Cup.
The flanker had only just returned from injury after missing Ireland’s entire Six Nations defence, and this further layoff will mark a devastating year for the player.
Leavy posted this message after surgery, saying it was the “[f]irst step on the road to recovery done and dusted”:
The 11-cap international was a huge absence for Ireland over the Six Nations, as his expertise at the breakdown and general workrate was severely missed in Ireland’s disappointing campaign. While Joe Schmidt is lucky to have a number of high quality flankers to call upon, very few have the skill set that Leavy has or are as perfectly suited to the number seven shirt.
Schmidt has time to work out how his squad will look in Leavy’s absence, as he clearly was unable to strike a great balance over the Six Nations.
In the short term, Leavy’s injury may prove costly for Leinster, particularly with the injury to fellow flanker Josh van der Flier. Although Leinster have made the final of the Champions Cup, Leavy’s absence may be most noticeable against Saracens in the final.
Nonetheless, although this will be a lengthy spell out on the sidelines, Leavy remains upbeat and ready to return after the World Cup.
Watch the Heineken Champions Cup Final live on RugbyPass throughout Asia and Australia.