Connacht face frontrow problems ahead of Saracens game

Tightheads Loughney and White in doubt for clash with Premiership leaders Saracens

 Brett Wilkinson in action for Connacht against the Ospreys. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Brett Wilkinson in action for Connacht against the Ospreys. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho


Connacht have been left counting the cost if last weekend’s Pro12 defeat to Treviso in Italy as they prepare for Friday night’s Heineken Cup opener against Saracens at the Sportsground.

Their problems are particularly acute in the frontrow, where both tightheads Ronan Loughney (concussion) and Nathan White (calf) are in doubt for the game against Mark McCall’s Premiership table toppers.

Loughney started last Friday’s game at the Stadio Monigo, but was forced to retire after 28 minutes of the first half to be replaced by White.

White only lasted three minutes before pulling up with a calf strain, with Brett Wilkinson coming in at loosehead and Rodney Ah You shifting across the frontrow.

Connacht also lost influential centre Eoin Griffin, who pulled up in the warm-up for the Treviso game and was replaced 10 minutes before kick-off by Brian Murphy.

Griffin is awaiting the results of a scan on a torn foot ligament but is likely to be sidelined for up to five weeks.

On the plus side for new coach Pat Lam is the return of secondrow andConnacht’s highest capped player, Michael Swift, who missed out on last week’s game. Outhalf Craig Ronaldson also returns .

Dave McSharry and Denis Buckley returned to club rugby for the first time this season last weekend, but are unlikely to be risked against Saracens.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.