Speaking to the media in Leinster HQ this week, senior coach Stuart Lancaster provided an update on injuries ahead of the Champions Cup match against Northampton Saints in Franklin’s Gardens.

Lancaster confirmed Johnny Sexton will be out in the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry again this week and will be monitored further for a hamstring injury.

“Johnny Sexton’s in good shape, but he’s going through a rehab programme which means he’s unlikely to be involved this weekend.”

With Sexton likely to miss out this Friday, Joey Carbery could be in line to start against Northampton Saints on Friday night.

Lancaster was full of praise for the Athy man after an impressive start to the season with Leinster and Ireland.

“Joey Carbery, for me, is one of the standout players that’s come through the Academy. He’s an unbelievable talent, very composed. I’ve seen him grow in leadership over the last two months. He’s gone from being on the fringes to being the main man. At 21-years-old he reminds me a lot of the young English fly-halves, the Owens (Farrell) and the Georges (Ford) in the way he’s dealt with that. He’s grown from being the quiet guy in the meeting to the guy running the meeting, which is impressive. We’ve got massive faith in him.

“Johnny will be back soon. It’s not a long-standing injury by any stretch of the imagination. But in the meantime we invest in Joey, and he’s got Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose outside him, two equally exciting young Irish backs.”

Henshaw and Rob Kearney have taken part in non-contact training as part of their graduated return to play process and will be further assessed this week.

Michael Bent was withdrawn from original XV to play the Dragons on Saturday with a calf injury. His availability for the Northampton match this Friday will be determined later in the week.

Noel Reid left the Dragons match with a foot injury in the first half and will be further assessed this week ahead of the match on Friday, as will Sean O’Brien who is recovering from a hip flexor injury picked up while on international duty.

Lancaster also confirmed that Rhys Ruddock came through the game against the Dragons with no reaction to the calf injury that kept him out the week before and that Dominic Ryan had resumed full training after recovering from his own calf injury. Bill Dardis had also stepped up his rehabilitation programme and would again take part in on-pitch training this week.

Looking ahead to the back-to-back games against Saints, Lancaster said:

“There’s no doubt there’s a uniqueness about this back-to-back experience that we’re about to go through, playing Northampton away from home and then at home. I remember watching Leinster go to Northampton (in December 2014), put in a fantastic performance and win. And then Northampton did the same at the Aviva.

“There’s history between these two clubs, they’ve obviously played in the final together. It’s going to be a great occasion at Franklin’s Gardens.”