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Leo Cullen allays injury fears over Tadgh Furlong ahead of Champions Cup final

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen allayed fears over Tadhg Furlong after the Ireland tighthead was forced off after just 17 minutes of his side’s thumping 40-17 Heineken Champions Cup final win over Toulouse.

urlong had to be helped from the field, as he limped off, looking in a degree of discomfort, however, he was walking around the pitch after full-time at the Aviva Stadium, with Cullen later revealing that the early indications were positive.

Furlong will be assessed over the coming days but he was never likely to feature against Munster next weekend, with Leinster already secured top spot in the URC.

The influential prop will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness in time for the European final in Marseille in a fortnight.

Rónan Kelleher also left the action early in the second-half with a head injury. The hooker will now follow the return-to-play protocols.

James Lowe suffered a leg injury in the dying stages, but Cullen was also optimistic about the early prognosis of his two-try winger.

“Tadhg seems to be okay there now,” Cullen said.

“You can see him hobbling so he’s done something to his ankle but he doesn’t seem to be too bad. The extent of it will get figured out in the next couple of days.

“Rónan went off so he’ll go through graduated return-to-play. James took a bang at the end but he doesn’t seem to be too serious from first reports in there.

“We will get them all checked. James, it was just on his shin I think, but it didn’t seem to be too bad. We’ll see over the next couple of days.”

Robbie Henshaw overcame a bout of illness in recent to deliver an outstanding performance, as Leinster captain Johnny Sexton hailed his team-mate’s character.

“Robbie, he’s been sick for the last couple of days, for him to turn up and play the way he did, it’s a testament to him. Some great performances throughout. We’ve got to a final now but that’s not where we’ve ever set our aspirations.”

Toulouse boss Ugo Mola acknowledged Leinster’s excellent performance, but he also bemoaned the difference between the Top 14 and the URC in terms of how his opposite number Cullen is able to manage his squad.

“For the French compared to the Irish (Test players), we play double the games per season,” Mola said.

“Honestly, I think this competition is the best competition. The (ball-in-play time) is 40 minutes, it’s 32 in the Top 14. We don’t prepare for this type of (fast) game in the Top 14. I hope to finish well with my team in the Top 14.”

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