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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

'I think it’s serious' - Concern for Munster's O'Donoghue after knee injury

The Munster back row had been pushing for a place on Ireland’s summer tour of Australia.

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan indicated that the injury back row Jack O’Donoghue suffered in Saturday’s Pro14 semi-final defeat to Leinster looks serious.

There is now concern that the 24-year-old could miss Ireland’s tour of Australia next month, having been stretchered off the pitch.

Jack O'Donoghue leaves the field injured O'Donoghue was helped off on Saturday. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

O’Donoghue injured his knee when his leg was caught in a ruck after he had tracked back to tackle Leinster lock James Ryan in the first half of Munster’s defeat to Leinster.

He was replaced by the impressive Robin Copeland and van Graan indicated that the initial outlook was not good.

“That seems pretty serious,” said van Graan of O’Donoghue’s injury. “Look, he was just sitting there in the changing room in a lot of pain. I think we’ll take some time, I’ll know more in the week.”

O’Donoghue has played twice for Ireland under Joe Schmidt – against Canada in 2016 and Japan in 2017 – while he was also involved in the wider training squad during this year’s Grand Slam.

The Waterford man’s excellent form for Munster had brought him firmly into contention for a place in Ireland’s squad to visit Australia for a three-Test tour next month too, but the nasty knee injury on Saturday now makes him a doubt.

“I can’t comment on the extent,” said van Graan when asked if O’Donoghue is likely to be injured for the tour. “I mean, with luck he could be all right but I think it’s serious.”

Schmidt does, of course, have other strong back row options for the tour. The Ireland boss is expected to name his squad on Wednesday.

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Murray Kinsella

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