Leinster without key duo for semi
May 11, 2012
Leinster will be without Rob Kearney for their PRO12 semi-final © Getty Images
Leinster have received a blow ahead of their semi-final with Glasgow Warriors on Saturday with the news that two of their key backs have been forced to miss the clash.
Ireland internationals Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll will both sit out the match after sustaining minor injuries in training. Kearney has an injured back while O'Driscoll is struggling with a knee injury.
For Leinster's rivals Munster, they will contest their semi-final against the Ospreys without fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who is only fit enough to make the bench.
Both O'Driscoll and Kearney are likely to be fit for Ireland's summer tour and the national side have received a boost with the news that their coach Gert Smal has been passed fit to travel to New Zealand.
Ireland kick-off their summer tour against the All Blacks on June 9 but play a match against the Barbarians at Kingsholm on May 29. Smal is relishing the chance to be back with the side, after sitting out part of the Six Nations with an eye condition, and has paid tribute to Anthony Foley who filled the gap during his enforced absence.
"It was a worrying time for my family when I was getting these symptoms affecting my eyesight, but it was clear that I was not going to be able to fully function and deliver the guidance the players needed," Smal said. "We needed to get to the bottom of what was going on and I was advised to take some rest, so it is at times like these that you reluctantly have to listen to the advice.
"Anthony Foley did a superb job when he stepped in at such short notice as did Paul [O'Connell] and also Rory [Best] and Donnacha Ryan to give that little bit of leadership along with the other forwards. I'm feeling really good and fit at the moment and really excited about stepping back onto the training field, which is where you want to be as a coach, and looking forward to the tour to New Zealand."
Ireland will name their squad for the three-Test tour to New Zealand on May 21.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength