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Ireland out-half Ross Byrne nears Leinster return after arm injury

Ross Byrne is nearing a return to action and could feature for Leinster in the BKT URC match against Benetton this weekend.

The Ireland out-half suffered an arm injury in November's loss to Munster and was initially ruled out until the New Year.

In a medical update today the league leaders said that the 28-year-old had "increased his training load", paving the way for possible inclusion for the final three rounds of the Six Nations.

Asked if he might feature on Saturday against Treviso at the RDS, senior coach Jacques Nienaber told RTÉ Sport: "We’ll have a better idea tomorrow but he is training with us. I’m not 100% sure. [He’ll] return to play... if the medical team is happy.

"He’s done some training, he’s done all his contact stuff and now the last step is being part of the squad and team training.

"Then, as coaches, we will have to see if we are happy with his form in training sessions and then the medics have to sign him off so yeah, he’s training with us.

"That decision will probably get made later in the week."

Byrne, who has 22 Ireland caps, was part of the World Cup squad but the injury kept him out of Andy Farrell’s panel for the opening two rounds of the championship.

Leinster have Ireland "training panellist" Sam Prendergast and Ciarán Frawley available to play out-half, while Harry Byrne came on in Ireland's win over Italy on Sunday.

Meanwhile, versatile back Jamie Osborne, who featured in Ireland squads last year, has also increased his training load as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

There were no further updates on Martin Moloney [bicep], Alex Soroka [foot], Charlie Ngatai [calf], Cormac Foley [shoulder] and Jimmy O’Brien [neck].

Watch a URC double-header, Leinster v Benetton (3pm) and Cardiff v