Defending Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster have issued a medical bulletin following the squad’s return to group training this week at their Dublin base, while also confirming that James Lowe has temporarily returned to New Zealand for family reasons.
Lowe, the former New Zealand Maori player, is due to qualify for Ireland later this year under the three-year residency rule having joined Leinster in 2017 and could feature in Andy Farrell’s international squad following the conclusion of the delayed 2019/20 season.
“Conor O’Brien (hamstring), Vakh Abdaladze (back), Cian Healy (hip) and Garry Ringrose (hand) have all now returned to full training,” read a club statement. “Dan Leavy is in the final stages of his running rehabilitation following a significant multi-ligament knee injury.
“James Lowe has returned home to New Zealand for personal reasons. On his return, James will follow all government health advice and guidelines upon arrival back into the country.
“Leinster players and staff returned to the UCD training base on Monday after undergoing PCR testing last Wednesday. This first phase of testing returned zero positive results.”
This should put a further pep in the step of rugby-starved fans https://t.co/uXorfP7RmT
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 18, 2020
No games have been played in the PRO14 since Connacht’s March 1 win at Southern Kings. However, plans have now been agreed to get the campaign up and running again in the five-country tournament, starting with two rounds of August derby matches before staging semi-finals and a final in September.
Unbeaten Leinster are currently 18 points clear at the top of Conference A and set for a potential semi-final versus Munster before a possible decider against either Edinburgh or Ulster. These four sides are the respective top two in each of the conferences.
Out-of-contract duo Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden have also reportedly agreed to short-term deals to continue playing with Leinster through to the conclusion of the 2019/20 season, which also includes the delayed Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final versus Saracens.
It’s 25 years ago today since the last Ireland team of the amateur era played. Beaten in the World Cup quarter-finals by France, RugbyPass takes a step back in time to learn what became of these Irish players in the professional era…
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 10, 2020
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