Leinster facing prop crisis
August 22, 2010
Stan Wright has ruptured his Achilles tendon © Getty Images
Leinster are facing a front-row crisis after losing experienced tight-head Stan Wright for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The 32-year-old Cook Islander was injured during Friday's heavy 41-6 pre-season loss to Wasps at Donnybrook, leaving new Leinster coach Josef Schmidt with concerns in the front-row.
With Cian Healy's time divided between his domestic commitments and the Ireland national team, Leinster will begin the season with South African Heinke van der Merwe, Mike Ross and Ronan McCormack as their main options. Springbok CJ van der Linde left the club to rejoin the Free State Cheetahs at the end of last season.
"At the minute it doesn't look great and we're planning on the basis that we'll be without Stan until next year," Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson told The Irish Independent. "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."
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin