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Disappointing setback for Leinster's Keenan as young fullback undergoes surgery

The Ireland sevens international had impressed for the province during the first half of the season.

LEINSTER FULLBACK HUGO Keenan has been dealt an unfortunate injury blow after being forced to undergo shoulder surgery over the Christmas period.

The 22-year-old had impressed during a run of senior appearances in November and December, but sustained damage to his collarbone during the Guinness Pro14 inter-pro against Connacht last month. 

Hugo Keenan with Adam Warren and Hallam Amos Keenan has started three Pro14 games this season. Source: Alex Davidson/INPHO

Keenan, who has started three Pro14 games this term, went under the knife last week and The42 understands he faces a period of six weeks on the sidelines, after the operation was deemed a success.

The former Blackrock College back is in year three of the Leinster academy and having been limited to two first-team opportunities in recent seasons, made a breakthrough in the 15 jersey during the Autumn Tests period.

He started Pro14 outings against Ospreys and Dragons, during which he scored his first senior try in the rout of the Welsh region at Rodney Parade, before retaining his place at fullback for the first inter-pro of the Christmas and New Year period against Connacht.

But the ex-Ireland U20 international, who also represented Ireland at the Sevens World Cup last summer, suffered the injury during the first half against the western province and was replaced by Ciaran Frawley before the half-time interval.

A crack to his collarbone required surgical repair and the timing of the setback is particularly cruel given Keenan’s run of form and the likely starting opportunities he is now set to miss during the Six Nations window.

After the final two rounds of Heineken Champions Cup pool action, Leo Cullen’s side welcome Scarlets to the RDS a week before the start of the Six Nations, while facing Zebre, the Southern Kings and Cheetahs in February and early March.

The timeline of Keenan’s rehab should allow him to work his way back into contention for the business end of the season, as he looks to secure a first senior contract with the province for next year.

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Ryan Bailey

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