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'He felt bad' - Leo Cullen says Hugo Keenan's Sevens choice difficult but understandable

Leo Cullen predicts a massive "aerial battle" when Leinster take on the Bulls but ruled Hugo Keenan out of contention for the BKT URC semi-final.

The Ireland full-back switched his attention to Sevens rugby following Leinster's Champions Cup final defeat to Toulouse.

Keenan made his comeback at the Madrid Sevens and was in Croatia at the weekend in a Rugby Europe competition in which Ireland lost out in the final to France.

Having said he intends to "fully commit" to the side ahead of the Olympics Games this summer, he appeared to rule himself out of the remainder of Leinster’s campaign, and Cullen confirmed Keenan won’t rejoin the squad for the trip to Pretoria this week.

"No. Not for the semi-final. One game at a time. He won’t be playing in South Africa," Cullen told RTÉ Sport.

Leinster have recorded derby wins over Connacht and Ulster to reach the semi-final and Saturday’s win at the Aviva will have given Cullen’s side a taste of what to expect when they face the Bulls.

Having beaten Leinster twice this season, thanks largely to a well-executed kicking game, Richie Murphy’s side stuck to the template and did enjoy some return from high balls targetting the backfield, where Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park were often covering.

With 46% possession, the visitors kicked 29 times from hand in the 43-20 loss.

Over in Pretoria, where the Bulls scraped past Benetton, Jake White’s side operated off just 43% possession and 37% territory.

They kicked 33 times out of hand during the 30-23 win, in which Johan Goosen scored 15 points off the tee.

"The aerial game will be massively important," Cullen said.

"I watched the very start of that [Bulls v Benetton] game Bulls, the kick that bounced and Kurt-lee Arendse scored that try.

"There is