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O'Halloran to see specialist after picking up groin injury

Connacht out-half Conor Fitzgerald is also dealing with a groin issue after the win over Edinburgh.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT’S MOST EXPERIENCED player Tiernan O’Halloran is set for another lengthy spell on the sideline after suffering a groin injury in Sunday’s bonus point win over Edinburgh.

The 29-year old full-back is due to see a specialist to establish the extent of the adductor injury but it’s feared he could be out for weeks.

O’Halloran, who made his debut in 2010, suffered a fractured fibula this time last year which kept him out until the Christmas derbies and it’s feared he could again miss several games.

He is the most experienced member of the current squad, having played 184 times for his native province.

Coach Andy Friend is resigned to being without O’Halloran, capped six times for Ireland, for a time but is hopeful it won’t be too long.

“He’s off to see a specialist but it is a significant injury and he is likely to be out for a period. It’s an adductor, he went into a jackal position and just got caught. We will know more once he has seen the specialist,” he said.

Friend is also waiting to establish the extent of a groin injury picked up by out-half Conor Fitzgerald in the opening half of the 37-26 win in Murrayfield.

“He was having pain in his groin and I think it was a wise decision to get him off at the time. We are going to know more later but certainly by getting him off early it didn’t turn into a nasty injury.”

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If Fitzgerald is unavailable, and with Jack Carty on Irish duty, Friend is likely to turn to Carlow native Tom Daly after the former Irish U-20 slotted in there from centre with great success on Sunday.

And Friend, who is also waiting to see if centre Sammy Arnold is available for Sunday’s clash with Benetton after a HIA, said that Daly’s versatility is a huge asset.

“It’s his third year with us. He came at the end of my first season and he hadn’t played a lot of rugby. He has played more rugby in the last year and a half than he played in four seasons up at Leinster and as he said he’s now just starting to find his groove at what he can do.

“He said at the front end of the year he believes his best position is probably 12, but he would like to be able to play 13, he would like to be able to play on the wing if he needed to or if needed at 10, he could do it. He has that versatility and we saw that on Sunday night against Edinburgh,” added Friend.

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John Fallon

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