Tuesday 21 August 2018

Eye-gouge ban puts Eroni Vasiteri's move to Connacht in doubt

Vasiteri was suspended following an eye-gouging incident with Canberra Viking’s hooker Folau Fainga’a in the National Rugby Championship on September 29. Photo: Getty Images
Vasiteri was suspended following an eye-gouging incident with Canberra Viking’s hooker Folau Fainga’a in the National Rugby Championship on September 29. Photo: Getty Images

Darragh Small

Connacht coach Kieran Keane has raised doubts about Eroni Vasiteri moving to the Sportsground after the Fijian was hit with a nine-week ban.

Vasiteri was suspended following an eye-gouging incident with Canberra Viking's hooker Folau Fainga'a in the National Rugby Championship on September 29.

"We are still looking for a quality player to fill the roster," said Keane. "It's up in the air whether Vasiteri will be joining us, to be frank.

"There are a lot of phone calls going back and forwards. That's the state of the play at present. It's a bit of knock-back for us but, chin up. We have to get on with it."

Connacht kick off their Challenge Cup campaign against Oyonnax in Geneva on Saturday, having lost five of their six Guinness PRO14 games under Keane.

Full-back Tiernan O'Halloran has been ruled out of that match after shipping a hip injury in last Friday's defeat by Ulster.

And, to add to Keane's woes, Steve Crosbie, who replaced O'Halloran in Belfast, is doubtful because of an ankle injury.

"Losing Tiernan early against Ulster threw us into a little bit of disarray but Stevie did a good job when he came on. He handled it with some aplomb and showed some guile. Unfortunately, he has taken a knock out of that," said Keane.

"With Tiernan, it's the physicality and nature of the sport that he takes a knock and has got a little bit of an issue with it."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport