While spirits were high in training at the sunny Sportsground yesterday following two consecutive GUINNESS PRO12 wins for Connacht, there was widespread disappointment for two of their senior players who were absent due to injury.
Hooker Sean Henry sustained a knee injury during his second half appearance against Edinburgh last Friday night.
Following yesterday’s MRI, it has been confirmed that Henry has ruptured his ACL. The 26-year-old from Sligo will see a surgeon later in the week but is likely to be sidelined for up to six months.
Converted hooker David Heffernan has started the opening two rounds in the number 2 jersey and while Connacht await the return to match fitness of Jason Harris-Wright (2-3 weeks) and the arrival of Tom McCartney at the conclusion of his ITM Cup campaign with Auckland, cover for the position will now be provided by Jack Dinneen, currently in year 1 of the Academy, and sub-Academy hooker Shane Delahunt who was capped for the Ireland Under-20s earlier this year.
It has also been confirmed that openside flanker Jake Heenan suffered shoulder subluxation in the PRO12 opener at home to the Dragons. The same shoulder was operated on in February after which Heenan undertook his rehab programme.
On review with the surgeon yesterday, it was apparent that he has sustained further injury to his shoulder and will require surgery – scheduled for Wednesday, September 24. Expected recovery time for the 22-year-old New Zealander is four to five months.
Meanwhile, Danie Poolman, who left the Murrayfield pitch following a head collision, will go through the normal ‘return to play’ protocols this week. The 24-year-old winger will be available for Friday night’s interprovincial derby clash with Leinster should he pass all tests.
While the Clan Stand is already sold out for Connacht v Leinster, there are tickets available for other areas of the ground from tickets.ie, Centra & SuperValu stores province-wide and from the Connacht Rugby office at the Sportsground.
Tickets start at €;25 for adults and are €;10 for all juniors (17 years and younger).