Dempsey excited by the return of Sexton

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

20 Sep 2016

Girvan Dempsey discussed Leinster's squad ahead of the Guinness PRO12 game with Ospreys. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey admits the whole squad are excited by the imminent return of Johnny Sexton.

The Irish province will assess the talismanic fly-half’s fitness ahead of the Guinness PRO12 match against Ospreys at the RDS Arena on Friday.

The 31-year-old has not played since injuring his shoulder in the Guinness PRO12 final in May but is on the verge of a return.

Dempsey said: “He’s gone well. He went through a good block of work last week in training and a couple of things to do in training today (Monday), but it all looks good.

“We’re delighted to have him back on board. He’s been excellent the whole way through pre-season.

“It’s been massively beneficial to have him around the club from the start of the season. [We are] really excited to have him back on board.”

But Dempsey did also confirm  Sexton’s Ireland and club team-mate Rob Kearney would be out of action for a couple of weeks with a knee injury, while Rhys Ruddock and Fergus McFadden will also be assessed ahead of Friday night’s game.

“We’re hopeful that [Kearney] will be back before Europe,” Dempsey said at the press briefing.
“He’s strained his knee so he’s in a rehab programme at the moment. It’s gut-wrenching for him. He’d come back and he was like a new kid: re-energised, revitalised, back on the field, actually taking a lot of ownership in certain areas of our game, and moving really well. It’s just so disappointing for him to get that knock.

“He’s responded well to his initial rehab and we’re hopeful that he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

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