Saturday 24 September 2016

Connacht's hamstrung hooker eyes festive return

John Fallon

Published 10/11/2015 | 02:30

Tom McCartney says he is determined to return as soon as possible
Tom McCartney says he is determined to return as soon as possible

Connacht hooker Tom McCartney says he is determined to return as soon as possible after being ruled out of their two opening Challenge Cup games and their crucial first versus second Pro12 derby with Munster in three weeks.

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And McCartney faces a race against time to make it back for the Christmas inter-pro games after a six-week lay-off was confirmed due to the hamstring tear he suffered when scoring Connacht's second try in their win against Treviso.

McCartney will not now join his team-mates on their 11,500km round trip to Siberia to face Enisei and he admits he is a little disappointed to miss out on a one in a lifetime match.

"I am a little bit disappointed to miss out. Initially when you hear going to Russia it is a long way to go and you might not be too interested, and not too sure what you are going to get," said 30-year-old McCartney, who was speaking at the Mazda Rugby Roadshow in Athlone.

"But I was really looking forward to it over the last few weeks. I got my head around it and somewhere different to go, a new experience, who knows we might never go there again. So the guys that are lucky enough to go, it will be a real good experience for them.

"Unfortunately I pulled the hamstring running down the sideline there. It was a run to the try-line from about 20 metres out - I don't score too many, so I had to keep on going."

As well as McCartney, this weekend Pat Lam will not be able to call on the services of scrum-half John Cooney, who will see a specialist this week to assess his shoulder instability, Matt Healy (hip) and Irish international Nathan White (concussion).

Meanwhile, second-row Quinn Roux will not be available for selection for three weeks after surgery to repair a nasal fracture sustained against Edinburgh.

Irish Independent

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