Howlett ruled out for the season
December 6, 2011
Doug Howlett has shown indications of being back to his best this season © Getty Images
Munster have suffered a huge blow with the news that star winger Doug Howlett will be out for the rest of the season.
Howlett damaged his Achilles tendon against the Ospreys on Sunday and was set to miss their back-to-back clashes with the Scarlets. But after undergoing a scan on Monday, they revealed that the former All Blacks winger needed surgery to repair the damage to his Achilles with the recuperation period expected to be between six and eight months.
Fellow Munster back Keith Earls, however, is expected back in training next week after recovering from a knee injury and it is hoped that he will play some part in their second clash against the Scarlets a week on Sunday.
And Munster fly-half Ronan O'Gara is set to make his 100th Heineken Cup appearance on Saturday at the Parc Y Scarlets. Fellow British & Irish Lions fly-half Stephen Jones has paid tribute to the soon-to-be centurion saying: "Getting to 100 Heineken Cup matches will be an immense achievement for Rog [O'Gara]. He has proved what a quality player he is for Munster and Ireland down the years, but nobody needs me to tell them that.
"He has been at the heart of what Munster do for so long and he can vary his game by putting the ball through the hands or by pinning a side into the corners. He knows just what he has to do and when to do it - you just have to look at what he did with the drop goals in the games against Northampton and Castres."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor