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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 15 April 2021

Connacht lock Thornbury back on his feet after Sunday concussion

Head coach Andy Friend will continue with his plans to rotate through his squad for Sunday’s clash with Munster.

Thornbury winning a line-out on Sunday.
Thornbury winning a line-out on Sunday.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

CONNACHT SECOND ROW Gavin Thornbury was back among his team-mates today as he began undertaking return to play protocols following a worrying concussion suffered in Sunday’s win over Ulster.

The 26-year-old suffered the blow to his head early in the second half of the western province’s otherwise thrilling 26-20 win at the Aviva Stadium. Precautionary treatment for the lock brought play to a halt for an extended period while he was moved onto a stretcher and taken to hospital.

Head coach Andy Friend, speaking in a virtual press conference this afternoon, confirmed Thornbury had not suffered an additional physical injury.

“He’s in here today and he’ll start his return to play protocols,” said the Australian.

“He’ll need to have the next couple of days off. Good to have him back up on his feet though and he’s in good spirits.”

Friend was relieved to have a relatively short injury list following his side’s first match back on the field. Denis Buckley (shoulder) was Connacht’s other entry to the treatment room. Both men are out of contention for this weekend’s second run-out at the Aviva Stadium against Munster (15.00 Sunday, eir Sport).

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However, Friend signalled his intention to rotate his squad through these games as early as last week and has not altered that plan.

“We said from the outset that we’ll treat these two games as opportunities for players. I think the pleasing thing from the weekend is that the players that started, and those that came on, have set the bar pretty high.

“We’ve got another group of players here who are keen to get out and try to emulate that if  they can.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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