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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Irish scrum-half Tomás O'Leary ruled out for six months

Perhaps it was never his destiny to make it onto a Lions rugby tour.

Tomás O'Leary will be out of action for six months.
Tomás O'Leary will be out of action for six months.
Image: Pinnacle Photography

SURGERY ON A back injury have ruled Tomás O’Leary out of action for up to six months and effectively ended his debut season with London Irish.

The former Munster scrum-half had played nine times for The Exiles since his summer switch but a spinal disc niggle struck him down and, following medical recommendations, he underwent surgery.

A club statement confirmed, “London Irish scrum half Tomás O’Leary underwent a surgical procedure on his lower back last Tuesday [4 December]for a a recent disc injury.

“Tomás has been unavailable for selection since his last appearance for Irish against Harlequins at Madejski Stadium 28 October. He now faces four to six months lay-off.”

New beginnings

O’Leary has 24 caps for Ireland but last played his last game for Ireland as a replacement in the Twickenham mauling by England at Twickenham on 17 March.

The 30-year-old told in October that he made the switch to London Irish for a fresh challenge after seeing Conor Murray’s emergence relegate him to a back-up role. He said:

I’m playing four and fives in a row, week on week. I haven’t done that in years. I’m enjoying the physical challenge.

“Even if you were deemed the number one scrum-half at Munster, you might only play once in every two or three weeks.”

It is not the first time injury has afflicted the former Cork minor hurler in British and Irish Lions touring season.

O’Leary was selected as part of the 2009 Lions touring squad only to succumb to a broken ankle a month before setting off to South Africa.

The final three rounds of the Aviva Premiership take place in April and May and O’Leary will be targeting them for a return.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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