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Concern for Schmidt as Dave Kilcoyne leaves Thomond on crutches

The prop injured his knee during Munster’s win over Castres.

Kilcoyne was replaced by James Cronin after 17 minutes.
Kilcoyne was replaced by James Cronin after 17 minutes.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ryan Bailey reports from Thomond Park

JOHANN VAN GRAAN was unable to give a definitive update on the fitness of Dave Kilcoyne, but the prop will now be a doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations opener after leaving Thomond Park on crutches.

Kilcoyne’s withdrawal after 17 minutes of the 48-3 victory over Castres was the only major downside to an otherwise perfect afternoon for Munster as they stormed through to the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The 29-year-old limped gingerly down the tunnel after sustaining the injury during the first-half and left the ground on crutches and with his knee heavily iced.

Speaking afterwards, Van Graan said it was too early to speculate on the severity of the damage but admitted it would take something serious to force Kilcoyne to stay down.

“He’s in a bit of pain, a lot of ice around the knee,” the Munster head coach said.

“Think it will be a bit of time before we know exactly what’s wrong. If he stays down it might be serious but I don’t want to speculate at this stage. He’s important to our squad and to Ireland so I hope he recovers really quickly.”

Two weeks out from Ireland’s championship opener against France in Paris, there will be concern over the loosehead’s fitness after becoming an important part of Schmidt’s plans.

Kilcoyne has featured in five of Ireland’s last six Tests, most recently coming off the bench in the November wins over South Africa and Argentina.

Keith Earls, meanwhile, suffered a nasty cut and black eye during his man of the match performance but there is no concern over the winger’s fitness with Schmidt’s squad due to convene in Carton House this week.

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Ryan Bailey

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