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Toulouse dealt major blow as Johnston ruled out of Munster quarter-final

The gigantic Samoan prop will not play in Limerick after sustaining a neck injury last weekend.

Johnston is out of the Thomond Park clash.
Johnston is out of the Thomond Park clash.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

TOULOUSE HAVE BEEN dealt a major blow ahead of Saturday’s European Cup quarter-final against Munster with news that giant Samoan prop Census Johnston will miss the game because of a neck injury.

The Top 14 side’s head coach, Guy Novès, said Johnston was completely out of the running to make the match-day 23 for the clash at Thomond Park in Limerick.

Johnston sustained the injury during the 32-28 defeat by Toulon on Saturday, and was eventually stretchered off the pitch wearing a neck brace.

The 138kg Samoa international has started 19 games for Toulouse this season, and while his scrummaging has been slightly less effective under the new laws, his explosive ball-carrying contributions are usually vital for les Toulousains.

It now appears almost certain that 29-year-old Yohan Montès will start the game at tighthead prop for the visitors.

Novès said a final decision on the fitness of injured trio Louis Picamoles, Luke McAlister and Yannick Nyanga would be made at the last minute on Saturday. Picamoles suffered a hip injury against Toulon, while Nyanga picked up an ankle problem in the same game.

Out-half McAlister is nursing a back injury sustained in the 27-27 draw with Stade Français two weekends ago. His return is seen as vital to Toulouse’s hopes of success in Ireland.

Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera is ruled out because he’s Cup tied, having played one match for Gloucester in the pool phase before joining the French club mid-season.

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- Additional reporting by Murray Kinsella

- © AFP, 2014

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