Johnny Sexton could return this weekend as Leinster host Ulster

It's 3rd against 4th in the PRO12 at the RDS this weekend

BY Simon Maguire 10:00 Thursday 29 December 2016, 10:00 29 Dec 2016

Jonathan Sexton. Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Johnny Sexton could feature for Leinster this weekend as his recuperation from a hamstring injury he sustained on international duty against New Zealand in November is almost complete.

Leinster welcome domestic rivals Ulster to the RDS in the Guinness PRO12 Championship on Saturday coming off the back of a defeat against Munster.

Leinster fielded a weakened side at Thomond Park, resting the likes of Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Josh Van Der Flier amongst others. The home side ran out 29-17 and Leinster fell to third in the league table.

Ahead of the weekend, Leinster coach Leo Cullen provided a positive injury update regarding full-back Rob Kearney and out-half Johnny Sexton.

Sexton is still being monitored at the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry but will "be reintroduced back into the rugby programme this week."

The Ireland number 10 also trained with the squad in UCD earlier this week, as did Kearney, and a decision on their participation in the match-day squad is expected soon.

Speaking ahead of the match against Ulster, Cullen said: "sometimes when you lose a game you just want to get back out there as soon as possible. With a five day turnaround, a lot of our frustrations from our own part from the weekend - it will be good to be back in the RDS.

"We're in the RDS on Saturday, on Friday, on the following Friday so we want to make it a really strong place for teams to come - so hopefully we'll get a lot of backing from our supporters.

"We've talked about this block going to define our season. A seven game block, we're three games into it now, four games to go...we will see where we're placed after that," he added. 

The game against Ulster on Saturday is also sold out. 

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