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Sean Cronin to miss Six Nations after Leinster confirm 'significant' hamstring injury

The hooker is set to be out until the end of March.

Cronin sustained the injury in the win over Zebre.
Cronin sustained the injury in the win over Zebre.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

SEAN CRONIN WILL miss Ireland’s upcoming Six Nations campaign after being ruled out for 10 weeks with what Leinster have described as a ‘significant’ hamstring injury.

The hooker pulled up shortly before the end of the province’s trouncing of Zebre a fortnight ago and further scans last week revealed the extent of the damage.

With Joe Schmidt’s side set to assemble at Carton House next week, Cronin now faces an extended period on the sidelines at the most unfortunate time of the season.

Ireland begin the championship against Scotland at Murrayfield on 4 February and Cronin’s return date isn’t expected to be until after the final game against England on 18 March.

“It’s quite a significant hamstring injury,” Stuart Lancaster said this afternoon.

“It’s a real shame for him as he’s actually playing great rugby but it’s a good opportunity for us to get him right and make sure we don’t get a recurrence of this because it must be hugely frustrating for him.

“He’s got himself into great form and now he’ll miss the Six Nations. He went to push-off and accelerate around the corner and saw it go. He’s deeply disappointed but he’ll be back a better player.”

Cronin’s unavailability will open the door for the likes of Niall Scannell, Dave Heffernan and James Tracy to push for a place in Schmidt’s squad behind captain Rory Best.

The 30-year-old could also be in a race against time to be fit for Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final tie, with the knock-out stages of that competition scheduled for the first weekend in April.

Isa Nacewa injured Nacewa was replaced early in the second half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Meanwhile, the eastern province are confident of having Isa Nacewa and Robbie Henshaw fit for Friday’s trip to Castres despite both players picking up ‘bangs’ in the win over Montpellier.

Nacewa was withdrawn early in the second half last Friday with a dead leg while Henshaw felt tightness in his thigh. Both will be assessed as the week progresses.

Sean O’Brien does, however, remain a major doubt after missing the bonus point win over Montpellier at the RDS with a calf injury.

“We’re not worried about Isa or Robbie, they were more bangs,” Lancaster added.

“Seanie’s is a bit more residue from last week’s pull which hasn’t really settled down so he’s more of a concern for this week.

“Obviously make a decision later in the week but having said that Jack Conan, Jamie Heaslip and Josh van der Flier didn’t do too badly and Dan Leavy is a pretty good bench option for us.”

– First published 13.24

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