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Don't leavy out Dan Leavy eyes a return to the Ireland squad and says he's 'in better physical shape' than before knee injury

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Dan Leavy feels fit and ready for a call-up to the Ireland squad

Dan Leavy feels fit and ready for a call-up to the Ireland squad

SPORTSFILE

Dan Leavy feels fit and ready for a call-up to the Ireland squad

Dan Leavy believes he is in better physical shape now than he was before he suffered a horrific knee injury last year, as the back-row eyes a return to the Ireland squad.

It remains to be seen if Andy Farrell will be tempted to ease Leavy back to international action against Georgia next week, but the Ireland head coach is likely to err on the side of caution.

Leinster have been careful not to rush Leavy's return, as he made his first start on Monday since his career hung in the balance following the serious knee injury he picked up in March of last year.

The Six Nations would appear to be a more likely target for the 26-year old, whose focus for now is on continuing to rack up minutes with Leinster.

"Now that is a good question," Leavy said, when asked if he was ready for an Ireland recall.

"Yeah, I'd do my best. I feel like I'm finding my feet quite well.

"It's not something I'm thinking about, it's not in my control, so as far as I see it we've got a game against Cardiff on Sunday night here (RDS), so I'm looking forward to that and if things change, things change.

"I have done so many extras and so much work on my positioning, making sure I am in safe (jackal) positions with Hugh Hogan our tackling and breakdown coach; he has been awesome for me just on my return.

"I have done so much work with him, it is just another aspect of the game that bridges the gap from being an injured player and just running to getting to game minutes. A big thanks to him. I am not too worried once I am into the game.

"I was focused on getting back, that was the main goal. I am definitely, probably in a better spot physically than I was before I got injured. I have been working for the year in the gym. My body feels good."

Leo Cullen acknowledged that Leavy's first start since March 2019 was hugely encouraging, but the Leinster head coach continued to urge caution.

"Dan is very positive," Cullen added. "I wouldn't tell another selector (Farrell) what to do, but for Dan it's a really positive step in his return to full action.

"We try to be cautious, but we're four weeks into his return now and he looks good. We'll see what the next steps are."

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