Thursday 23 November 2017

Wright ruled out for season

Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

Leinster's 41-6 hammering at the hands of Wasps on Friday night was the least of their worries after it emerged yesterday that prop Stan Wright is out for the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in that match.

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson confirmed yesterday that they will have to sit down with the IRFU to try to find a suitable replacement for Wright, who has been a cornerstone of the pack since joining in mid-season 2006/07 -- ironically as an emergency replacement for the injured Will Green. He has played 83 times for Leinster since then.

Wright will be operated on this week, after which the prognosis will be clearer.

"At the minute it doesn't look great and we're planning on the basis that we'll be without Stan (32 next month) until next year," Dawson said yesterday. "It's a serious setback given how good he has been for us and it doesn't help that most of the good props around the place are already under contract.

"Certainly we'll have to go outside Ireland to find a replacement and we've already been in touch with the IRFU on that. We'll try and identify someone as soon as possible and take it from there."

Losing someone of Wright's calibre is bad news at any stage but given the micro-management of Ireland players by Declan Kidney this season, with the 2011 World Cup in mind, the Cook Islander would have been an invaluable man to have around when the Test stars are away. As it is, new coach Joe Schmidt will have to cope without them until October.

That leaves him with newcomer Heinke van der Merwe, Mike Ross, and Ronan McCormack on full contracts, and Jack McGrath (development contract) to soldier through the early rounds of the Magners League until Cian Healy is freed by Ireland to play.

Sunday Independent

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