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Two key Leinster players face race against time for Marseille

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Two of Leinster biggest names are being ‘continually assessed’ ahead of the province’s Heineken Champions Cup final this weekend at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

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Both Tadhg Furlong and James Lowe are facing a race against time to prove their fitness. Tighthead Furlong was removed from play in Leinster’s semi-final victory over Toulouse in Dublin.

He is dealing with an ankle issue. Lowe on the other hand has injured his shin.

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A Leinster statement this afternoon reads: “All of Tadhg Furlong (ankle), James Lowe (shin) and Nick McCarthy (shoulder) will increase their training load this week and will be continually assessed ahead of Saturday.”

Lowe, also nominated for European Player of the Year, is the top try scorer in the current campaign with 10 from six appearances, and he needs one more on Saturday to equal Chris Ashton’s record of 11 in a season for Saracens in 2013/14.

Cullen welcomed Jordan Larmour back from a hip injury against Munster on Saturday and the full-back “came through that game with no issues”. Larmour is one option to fill the void left by Lowe’s potential absence from the final.

There was good news in that Ireland hooker Ronan Kelleher has returned to training this week after suffering a concussion in the same match.

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They also picked up a couple of injuries in their alternate squad in same game in the URC this weekend. “Ciarán Frawley was removed for a Head Injury Assessment, which he passed, but he did not return to play due to a facial injury which will be further assessed this week. Cormac Foley, a try-scorer on his first home start against Munster, picked up a shoulder injury and will be further assessed this week.”

Leo Cullen’s side are aiming to win a fifth Heineken Champions Cup star and to join Stade Toulousain as the most successful club in the tournament’s history. The Leinster pair of Ross Molony and Josh van der Flier have the made the most tackles to date this season with 89 apiece.

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