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Published: 15:43 | 11/4/16

Kearney back for Leinster

Ireland full-back has not played since 23 January

Rob Kearney returns for Leinster's Pro12 game against Edinburgh at the RDS on Friday after six weeks out with a hamstring injury.

The Ireland full-back has not featured for Leinster since the 51-10 European Rugby Champions Cup defeat to Wasps in Coventry on 23 January, and his last match for his country was the 21-10 defeat to England at Twickenham on 27 February.

Kearney says he has taken an extended rest over the last couple of months in a bid to recover from the chronic condition, which also affects his lower back.

"It’s been a tough enough few months," he told The42.

"It’s been up and down a little bit, was in for some games, out for some so taking a good break of five or so weeks hopefully means I’m over the worst of it.

"I probably took a few extra weeks than the hamstring needed just to make sure I was well conditioned and I’d be able for a good workload over the next few months so the plan is to keep going until the remainder of the season."

Sean O’Brien and Marty Moore are expected to return for the Pro 12 match against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium on 30 April, while Jack Conan is still wearing a medical boot to protect his foot injury.

Leinster lead the Pro 12 table on points difference over Connacht with three games of the season to go, and Kearney says Friday's match against Edinburgh is a must-win game if they are to secure a top-two finish and a home semi-final.

"Edinburgh are still pushing hard for that European spot and they’ve a sniff of the top four as well so they’re going pretty well," he said.

"We can’t look past this week and we know another win this week would put us in a strong position for a home semi. The fact that we’re not in Europe has given the guys time off to refocus and I think there’s still plenty in the tank.”

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