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Leinster recall Ireland trio but James Ryan not one of them

By Kim Ekin
PA

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Leinster will welcome back three Ireland internationals ahead of the second leg of their Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 clash with Connacht.

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Leinster claimed a 26-21 first-leg win over the westerners at the Sportsground in Galway. Two James Lowe tries in the space of four minutes saw Leinster lead 18-11 at half-time, the visitors finding their groove in the second quarter after John Porch’s early effort had provided the fireworks for Connacht.

Now Leo Cullen’s Leinster side will have significant reinforcements going into this weekend’s second leg.

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Mike Brown | Rugby Roots
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Mike Brown | Rugby Roots

A Leinster statement confirmed that “all of Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Jordan Larmour and Michael Milne have all recovered from their respective injuries and will train as normal this week.

“Porter and Kelleher have been absent since picking up knocks during the Six Nations while Larmour suffered a hip injury in the win over Benetton Rugby at the beginning of March.

“Prop Milne is yet to make an appearance in this campaign and will be a welcome addition as the squad prepare for a busy window of action.”

However there is no return yet for Ireland second row James Ryan, who is continuing to recover from a concussion sustained during the Guinness Six Nations. He has however taken part in non-contact Leinster training this month in UCD.

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England lock Charlie Ewels was red-carded when he clattered into Ryan in the opening minutes of the England Ireland game at Twickenham over four weeks ago.

Dave Kearney (hamstring), Will Connors (knee) and Ryan Baird (back) are all still listed as unavailable by the province.

Cullen’s side remain favourites to lift the Heineken Champions Cup, a feat that moved closer with defending champions Toulouse losing in France against Ulster in their first leg.

A 14-man Toulouse will take a deficit into the corresponding fixture in Ravenhill this weekend.

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