Leinster's Heineken Champions Cup final opponents La Rochelle have been handed a big boost with the return from injury of second row Will Skelton.

The powerful lock had been dealing with a calf injury and missed their quarter and semi-final wins in Europe.

Speaking yesterday, La Rochelle boss Ronan O'Gara suggested that the 30-year-old could be out for the rest of the season, however, he ended up being a late addition to squad to face Stade Francais in the Top 14 this afternoon, replacing Eneriko Buliruarua.

"No, he won't be playing this weekend anyway unless... I have a medical meeting at lunch time today," O'Gara said on Newstalk yesterday.

"It's a day-by-day process with Will. He's a very important player for this group, for what we want to do in Europe, for what we want to do in the Top 14.

"I have spoken to him. I told him I expect to see him in pre-season, but I don't think he accepts that, so we will wait and see."

Skelton now looks on track to return for next Saturday's final in Marseille, playing the final 13 minutes of their 32-13 bonus-point win against Stade Francais, which moves them up to third in the French table.

Leinster boss Leo Cullen said yesterday that he doesn't pay attention to much of O'Gara's comments in the media.

"I'd be very wary of anything that the coach of La Rochelle says in the media because I’m sure he knows exactly what’s going on in his own world versus what he wants to put out there in the world," he told RTÉ Sport ahead of this evening's URC clash with Munster.

Skelton has been a thorn in Leinster's paw in previous seasons, playing a starring role for Saracens in their 2019 win against Leinster in the final, as well as helping them defeat Cullen's side in last year's semi.

Follow Leinster v La Rochelle (Saturday 4.45pm) in the Champions Cup final via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app live or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1.