Sexton to Return for Leinster

A timely boost for Cullen’s side ahead of their upcoming Champions Cup fixtures.

Jonathan Sexton is fit and will be available for selection for Leinster’s Friday night matchup with Zebre.

The Irish international has been absent since suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury during Ireland’s loss to New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in November.

The number 10 was expected to return for last weekend’s victory over Ulster in the Pro12, but further caution was taken due to the delicate nature of the problem.

However, following a return to full training last week, Sexton will be raring to go come Friday, according to Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey:

‘They wanted to get to the crux of the issue and try and resolve it.’ ‘It wasn’t a case of: ‘just get him back and roll him out there’.

They wanted to use the time and try to get him 100%, get to the root of the problem and hopefully that will be the end of it.’

‘I think they have resolved it. He trained with us last week, he’s training now. Rehab has gone really well, so hopefully you’ll see him play this weekend.’

‘It was great to have him back running around last week, he got a feel for it.’

‘I think it will be hugely important. Rounds five and six against a strong Montpellier side and then away to Castres will determine where we finish in the pool.’

Further injury concerns had left Leo Cullen with a real headache at the out-half position, with Ross Byrne the only available option after Joey Carbery picked up an ankle injury in December.

But the timely return of first-choice Sexton should see the Irish provincial side push on and win their Champions Cup group with relative ease, as well as putting pressure back on Ospreys and Munster atop the Pro12.

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