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Jack Conan leaves field with head injury and will follow return to play protocol

Conan has been named in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad to tour South Africa.

Jack Conan leaves the field for a HIA.
Jack Conan leaves the field for a HIA.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEO CULLEN HAS confirmed that Jack Conan, who was named in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad to tour South Africa on Thursday, had to leave the field tonight for a head injury assessment.

At this stage the injury does not appear to be serious; Conan jogged from the pitch to complete the assessment. However, he did not return to see action in Leinster’s 50-21 win over Connacht.

Cullen said: “Jack had to do a HIA and will now go through the graduated return to play protocols.”

It wasn’t the only bit of discomfort Leinster went through tonight. Trailing 16-0 at one point, they regrouped to find form as the game progressed. In the end, they won handily, scoring eight tries en route to a 29-point win.

“It was a bit chaotic at the start,” said Cullen. “It obviously had been a difficult week for us and we lacked a bit of discipline at the start.”

And Connacht capitalised. Their form up until the end of the first quarter was good; but by half-time the game was as good as over, Leinster scoring 45 unanswered points before Peter Sullivan crossed for a late Connacht score.

“We knew we had a Leinster team wounded, we had to start quickly,” said Friend, “but we gave them access to the red zone – and they scored tries way too easily once they got there which is something we need to work on.

“It is an area we are trying to get right all year – but you have to complement Leinster because as soon as they got in the red zone, they were very clinical.

“Munster will have a gameplan for us next week but watching that, they will attempt to launch their maul and if they are not able to do that, they will attack us at the breakdown. That was where we were hurt tonight.”

Asked if the gap between Connacht and Leinster is growing, Friend replied: “No, I would not say they are miles ahead of us because we have played them twice this season; we won one, they won one.

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“Tonight’s scoreline does not look good and we had the opportunity to be the first Connacht team to win home and away against Leinster.

“But I don’t see the gap being massive between us.”

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Garry Doyle

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