Friday 23 February 2018

Wallace facing into six-month recovery

DAVID Wallace will undergo six months of rehabilitation after having his knee totally reconstructed on Sunday.

The Ireland veteran faces an uncertain future, having injured all of the major ligaments when England's Manu Tuilagi's side-on tackle ended his World Cup hopes on Saturday.

His Munster and Ireland team-mate Felix Jones is also facing a lengthy spell in rehab. The 24-year-old full-back is due to see a specialist next week after injuring his ankle against France.

Meanwhile, Tomas O'Leary and John Hayes have resumed training with Munster after being left out of the Ireland World Cup squad and are set for the Pro12 kick-off at home to the Dragons on Saturday.

James Coughlan also returns to the Munster squad after he missed last weekend's game against London Irish with an eye injury, while Johne Murphy is included after straining a hamstring playing for the Ireland XV against Connacht.

Duffy to lead Connacht on European adventure

GAVIN Duffy will lead Connacht into the Heineken Cup after being appointed captain for the coming season.

The Ireland full-back takes over from John Muldoon as skipper, and coach Eric Elwood paid tribute to the back-row, who has held the armband for the last pre-seasons.

"John has been a great captain for Connacht but these things run their course," he said.

"I spoke to John about it, we went out for a bite to eat and I explained why we felt the side might benefit from a change of voice in the dressing-room.

"John knew where we were coming from and couldn't have been better about it.

"He has had two bad injuries and can concentrate on getting back to full flight and he will continue to be a leader on the pitch."

Duffy's first game as captain is away at Treviso on Saturday in the Pro12 opener.

McCall earns new deal with Saracens

FORMER Ireland international Mark McCall has been handed a new three-year contract by English champions Saracens.

The former Ulster coach took over from Brendan Venter as director of rugby at the Premiership club, and he and his coaching staff have all been handed new deals.

"Not only do we have a talented group of coaches, they are also an exceptional group of people and that is just as important," chairman Nigel Wray said.

"We have stability within our coaching and playing staff, and they work fantastically hard for each other, which makes me so excited about the future."

Irish Independent

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