Friday 20 October 2017

Injury news a big blow for Copeland's Six Nations hopes

There are fears that Robin Copeland might require surgery on a neck injury suffered against Leinster in December. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
There are fears that Robin Copeland might require surgery on a neck injury suffered against Leinster in December. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

Hopes that Robin Copeland might return from injury to bolster Joe Schmidt's back-row options in the latter half of the Six Nations looked to be dashed, with the 27-year set to go for a crucial scan.

There are fears that he might require surgery on a shoulder injury suffered against Leinster in December, which could leave him with a battle to be back before the end of the season. The Wexford-born back-rower, who made his Test debut against Georgia in November, had featured in 11 of Munster's 15 games, having joined from Cardiff last summer

It was expected that he would return for Munster against his former club this weekend and provide options for Ireland as the Six Nations progresses.

"He is going off to see a specialist. He could be out for some time," said Munster assistant coach Brian Walsh.

"Until he sees the specialist we won't know for definite but it looks like he might need some work on his shoulder."

Hooker Duncan Casey is sidelined for the next few weeks.

Tyler Bleyendaal's future with Munster remains up in the air - he faces a crucial scan on his neck injury in four weeks.

The former Crusaders out-half or centre, signed last May on a three-year deal, finally linked up with Munster on their recent training camp week in Lanzarote after undergoing surgery on a neck injury last autumn.

"He is due for a scan in four weeks' time. Even if that scan goes well I don't think he will be available in the short-term.

"It will be a longer progression to get him back to play," said Walsh, who did not rule out Bleyendaal featuring later this season.

"I wouldn't go that far either. It is a bit of a grey area to be talking about necks and things like that."

Elsewhere, Connacht have confirmed that openside flanker Willie Faloon is to return to his native Ulster at the end of the current season.

Irish Independent

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