Leinster will go to France for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final without Jonathan Sexton.
The out-half is still observing return-to-play protocols almost three weeks after sustaining a head injury against Exeter.
Per Leinster’s mid-week injury update on Tuesday, Sexton “will continue to train and be assessed as part of the Graduated Return to Play process” but will not feature this weekend.
Sexton’s latest injury, as discussed on The Knock On last week, came by way of Leinster’s turnaround quarter-final win over Exeter Chiefs on 10 April. He has already picked up a number of head injuries for Leinster and Ireland this season. Ross Byrne is likely to start at out-half as a result.
As the sides meet for the first time in European competition, we’ll have live coverage of La Rochelle v Leinster this Sunday afternoon on KCLR. Should Leinster make the final and Sexton return to play he’ll find himself just one point shy of becoming the fourth player to reach 700 points in the Heineken Champions Cup, joining La Rochelle coach Ronan O’Gara, Stephen Jones and Owen Farrell.
Elsewhere, doubts remain over Caelan Doris due to the calf injury that saw him withdraw from last weekend’s defeat to Munster.
Jamison Gibson-Park and Harry Byrne will also be assessed ahead of Sunday’s game in France.
Jack Dunne (ankle), Adam Byrne (quad), Dan Leavy (knee), Conor O’Brien (knee) and Max Deegan (knee) are all ruled out of contention.