Leinster head coach Leo Cullen explained the absence of Johnny Sexton from his side to face Munster in the Pro14 semi-final and revealed that he expects to have both Sexton and Robbie Henshaw back, should his team make the final.
Sexton’s omission from the starting XV to take on Munster in favour of Ross Byrne was the big surprise of the selection but Cullen revealed that while Sexton is carrying a slight injury, Byrne was always going to start.
"[It’s] just a bit of tightness in his calf," Cullen said of Sexton’s injury. "We named him on the bench at the start of the week so we thought he’d be okay but he went to run yesterday and he wasn’t 100% so we had to call it.
"We named Ross [Byrne] at the start of the week to start at 10, so there wasn’t a huge amount of disruption from out part.
"Guys have trained well this week and it’s been a tight turn around after last week but."
The Leinster boss is confident that the Ireland number 10 would be back for the final, should the Blues get past Munster.
"All the signs are that he should be okay next week, if there is a next week."
Cullen also believes that Henshaw will be fit to face either Glasgow Warriors or the Scarlets if the final, should Leinster progress.
"He has done a little bit of damage to his knee," said Cullen. "It is nothing too major, a few weeks.
"I talked to him in the gym today, He’s making quick progress, he’s nearly happy to go again. It is too just soon for him this week, it’ll be a couple of weeks."
Cullen went on to reveal that the selection of Byrne at 10 was a reward for his hard work throughout the season and he is confident that the 23-year-old will step up.
"Someone like Ross, we picked him at the start of the week because he's played the majority of our games at 10 this year. We want to reward guys that have got us to these positions.
"Ross, even in Europe, played in our six pool games. He started the Montpellier game here, he started the Montpellier game away.
"He played a huge part and he had to deal with the huge disappointment of not being involved in the quarter or semi-final of Europe, even though he'd been involved in all six pool games.
"That's been a little bit of the story over the season of a lot of players, that have got the team into position and done the bulk of the work and have sometimes not got to play in the big games, and this is another big game for us."
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