Ross Byrne to miss Leinster’s opening Champions Cup fixtures with arm injury

Outhalf has been ruled out of European clases with La Rochelle and Sale as well as the St Stephen’s Day trip to Munster

Leinster outhalf Ross Byrne will miss the province’s opening Champions Cup fixtures as well as the St Stephen’s Day interpro with Munster due to an arm injury.

Byrne, who had surgery on his arm after picking up the injury when trying to prevent Craig Casey from scoring during Leinster’s recent victory over their provincial rivals, has been ruled out until the new year. Leinster open their Champions Cup campaign on Sunday against defending champions La Rochelle before welcoming Sale Sharks to the RDS the following week.

They then travel to Thomond Park on December 26th before another interpro, this time at home to Ulster, on New Year’s Day. The province has announced that Byrne will be sidelined “until the new year,” leaving his availability for that Ulster clash up in the air.

In a further blow to the province, Jamie Osborne, who played on the wing during last weekend’s victory over Connacht but has predominantly lined out at centre this season, will miss the La Rochelle game after undergoing a procedure on a shoulder injury.


Tommy O’Brien (ankle), Luke McGrath (knee) and John McKee (hamstring) all remain sidelined, but Alex Soroka, Cian Healy and Cormac Foley have all returned to full training.

Meanwhile, Diarmuid Barron, Jeremy Loughman and Paddy Patterson have all signed two-year contract extensions with Munster. Hooker Barron has captained the side on three occasions so far this season, including last Friday’s win over Glasgow Warriors.

He started last year’s URC quarter-final, semi-final and Grand Final and has scored nine tries in 63 Munster appearances since his debut in 2018.

A product of the Munster Rugby Academy, he came up through the ranks at Cashel RFC and Rockwell College before lining out in the AIL for Garryowen.

Ireland international Loughman has also signed a new deal after featuring at his first Rugby World Cup this year. The prop has scored six tries in 89 Munster appearances since joining from the Leinster Academy in 2017. He also started all three knock-out games as Munster clinched the URC title last season.

Scrumhalf Patterson has scored five tries in 24 Munster appearances since making his debut in 2021. Last season saw Patterson establish himself as a key member of the squad, making 14 appearances including a Player of the Match display against South Africa A at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

A former Leinster Academy player, he returned to action against Benetton in October following a knee injury.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times