Leinster’s Ross Byrne to miss match against Connacht with arm injury

Further assessment required to see the length of Byrne’s absence for Leinster

Leinster will have a better prognosis on the extent of Ross Byrne’s bicep injury and the potential recovery period following a medical procedure and evaluation by a consultant. The outhalf suffered the injury in trying to tackle Craig Casey as the Munster scrumhalf scored a try in the URC match between the provinces at the Aviva stadium on Saturday night.

A bicep tear, if that’s what it is, can take four to six weeks to four to six months to heal, depending on the severity of the issue. Leinster’s official medical bulletin simply stated that the outhalf is not available for Saturday night’s clash with Connacht at a sold-out Sportsground (7.35pm).

It’s a tough break for the 28-year-old outhalf who had been very impressive in controlling the second half of Leinster’s win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade – he then came on in the victory over the Scarlets – and who would have expected, now that Johnny Sexton has retired, to have first dibs on the  number 10 jersey, especially for the upcoming Champions Cup pool matches against La Rochelle and the Sale Sharks.

Leinster forwards’ coach Robin McBryde said: “You just feel for Ross. It is a frustrating time for him really being the incumbent, to have an injury is just tough. I can only imagine how he is feeling. As raw as it is, other people get an opportunity and the nature of rugby you always have to look at it in that light from a coaching point of view.


“Yes, it would be great to have him, but if we haven’t got him it’s going to give someone else an opportunity.” Ciaran Frawley came on and slotted in at outhalf in the victory over Munster, the Skerries native drawing praise from Leinster head coach Leo Cullen for the manner in which he managed the game, both in his kicking and distribution.

Ross’s younger brother Harry and Sam Prendergast, a double Grand Slam winner with the Ireland Under-20s, have both started URC matches at outhalf this season.

James Lowe is back in training this week having returned from New Zealand at the weekend but his first involvement in a matchday squad could be the La Rochelle Champions Cup pool match on Sunday week at the earliest and maybe even the following Saturday, December 16th, against the Sale Sharks at the Aviva stadium.

Leinster’s propping stocks look set to be fully replenished within the next week or so as Cian Healy (shoulder) and Michael Milne (shoulder) edge closer to full fitness, following on from last week’s confirmation that Ed Byrne has returned to full training. The official word is that Healy and Milne will be further assessed later this week to determine full integration.

Scrumhalf Cormac Foley, who was hugely impressive in his performances this season to date before picking up a shoulder injury, is on the mend and while he won’t be available for the Connacht match, he is “to step up his rehabilitation programme.”

There are no further updates on injuries to Tommy O’Brien (ankle), Luke McGrath (knee), John McKee (hamstring) and Alex Soroka (foot).

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer