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Aviva Premiership
Smith admits Buckland fear
ESPN Staff
August 29, 2012
The Ospreys' Alun-Wyn Jones goes head to head with London Irish's James Buckland, London Irish v Ospreys, Heineken Cup, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, January 16, 2011
James Buckland could be out for the season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: James Buckland | Brian Smith
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London Irish boss Brian Smith has revealed that hooker James Buckland could be ruled out for the entire Aviva Premiership season.

Buckland has been struggling with a knee injury and will visit a specialist next month to get a firm prognosis on when he will return to action but Smith admits that the prospects are looking bleak for the -year-old. Smith told getbracknell.co.uk: "He went to get his knee cleaned up in the off season, but it was so bad when they got in there that it may have written him off for the season."

But while Buckland looks set to miss the bulk of the new season, the Exiles have brought in young prop Richard Palfreyman from the Sharks. He joins the likes of Alex Corbisiero and Cai Griffiths at the Madjeski Stadium and Smith has high hopes for the 19-year-old.

"In terms of props - there was not much on the market earlier this summer," Smith said. "Now there has been a bit of a late run with guys making themselves available. "We have taken a bit of a punt, but every move we are taking is improving us as a squad. He [Palfreyman] should be here by the weekend."

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