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Gavin Thornbury leaves last weekend's clash with the Cheetahs through injury.
Gavin Thornbury leaves last weekend's clash with the Cheetahs through injury.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Connacht optimistic on Thornbury as they are handed Aki boost

Their international centre will be available to face Leinster next weekend.
Oct 30th 2019, 6:45 AM 9,795 16

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN boosted by confirmation that Bundee Aki will be available to face Leinster in their first inter-provincial game of the season as well as their return to Champions Cup rugby the following week.

There is further encouraging news as Connacht are hopeful that the arm injury suffered by Gavin Thornbury in last weekend’s win over the Cheetahs is not as serious as first feared. 

Thornbury fell heavily during a lineout in last weekend’s dramatic 24-22 bonus point win over Cheetahs, and it is expected he will face a few weeks on the sidelines.

“He was in a fair amount of pain at the time and went to hospital,” said defence coach Pete Wilkins. “The good news is there is no break. We have to wait and see what the scan says, but having no break in there means it could be shorter than first expected,” said Wilkins.

Aki will sit out the final game of his three-match suspension away to Ospreys on Saturday, a ban that was handed down when he became the first Irish player to be sent off in a World cup match against Samoa last month.

Out-half Jack Carty will also make his return for the derby with Leinster at the Sportsground next weekend following his impressive World Cup in the Irish shirt, after both internationals were pencilled in for training next week.

“Bundee and Jack came to support us at the game last weekend but they’re off again this week. We expect them back in full training next week,” said Wilkins.

“As far as we’re concerned they’re available for selection thereafter. Bundee’s suspension will be served.

“They may have to de-load at some point in context of Ireland’s commitments, but for us we expect them in full training next week and ready to go.”

Both Finlay Bealham (calf) and Quinn Roux (pectoral) are doubts for this weekend’s game after they too picked up knocks against Cheetahs, while back row Sean O’Brien is primed for a return to action following eight months on the sideline with a shoulder injury.

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“Sean trained with us last week. He is competitive as ever. If he could select himself he would have been in there a few weeks ago. He’ll be in the mix over the next month.”

 

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John Fallon

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