Leinster badly hit with Covid as James Ryan returns as captain

The province has been beset by Covid and, while Leo Cullen has 16 internationals on duty, he is missing a rake of others for the planned trip to Montpellier
Leinster badly hit with Covid as James Ryan returns as captain

Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup tie away to Montpellier remains on course, for now, despite recent Covid complications with James Ryan set to make his return as captain and the squad due to fly out to France on Friday morning.

The province has been beset by the virus since at least late last week and, while Leo Cullen has named 16 internationals across his 23, he is missing a rake of players who would be deemed regulars and who had not previously been listed as injured.

Among the men in that bracket are Michael Ala’alatoa, Harry Byrne, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Garry Ringrose, Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier.

Johnny Sexton has been injured. Five players are in line to make their competition debuts.

There have also been five confirmed cases of Covid among the French club’s playing squad. The Midi Olimpique rugby website has gone so far as to suggest the fixture is “therefore strongly threatened”.

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