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Mack Hansen to miss Connacht's Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers

The winger is unavailable after aggravating a calf injury in training.

Connacht winger Mack Hansen.
Connacht winger Mack Hansen.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MACK HANSEN WILL miss Connacht’s Heineken Champions Cup meeting with Leicester Tigers on Saturday, as the winger’s unfortunate run with injuries continues.

Hansen has been a revelation since arriving from the Brumbies last summer, but has yet to make his European debut for the province.

The 23-year-old has registered six tries in eight league appearances this season, but missed Connacht’s opening Champions Cup games against Stade Francais and the Tigers through injury.

And Hansen will again be unavailable when Leicester visit The Sportsground on Saturday after aggravating a calf injury in training. However, the province are hopeful of having him fit for selection for the trip to play Stade Francais on 23 January.

In better news for Connacht, Jack Carty is fit for the Tigers clash. The out-half suffered a mouth injury in the URC win over Munster on New Year’s Day but has been passed fit to play.

Meanwhile Denis Buckley could return to action later this month as he rehabs a knee issue, while Peter Robb, who is recovering from a shoulder issue, is also closing in on a return.

The province are hoping to have Tom Daly back in the mix by mid-February as he rehabs a knee problem, while Gavin Thornbury could return early next month following a surgical procedure on his shoulder.

Overall, head coach Andy Friend is happy with the health of his squad as they prepare for Saturday’s encounter with Premiership leaders Leicester, who suffered their first defeat of the season against Wasps over the weekend.

“We’ve got a pretty clean bill of health at the moment so we’re in a good space as a squad, which is good at this stage of the year,” Friend said.

“That’s probably the only plus coming out of all the weekends off, you get a chance to recover and recoup, and we’re in a good space on that front.

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“We need just to be us (against Leicester). So we need to be better in our set-piece, in terms of our scrum, we got caught last time not chasing our weight after the hit, so we need to make sure we do that and not give them easy go-forward ball on the scrum.

“But I do believe we have got a pack that can do that for us. I think our bench is going to be really important this week, but again, we then just need to go back and play our brand of rugby and I think if we can do that, we can cause some headaches.” 

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Ciarán Kennedy

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