CONNACHT ARE FACING into the opening games of their second Heineken Cup season without a recognised scrum-half after injuries to Frank Murphy and Paul O’Donohue proved worse than feared.
The westerners have lost Murphy for ‘six to eight months’ and O’Donohue’s hamstring injury has ruled him out for up to two months.
Connacht coach Eric Elwood told the Irish Independent that Murphy needs an ACL reconstruction for his cruciate ligament injury.
He maintained, however, that he has faith in the two men currently sharing the scrum-half duties, Kieran Marmion (aged 20) and Dave Moore (24). He said:
With Frank’s injury it is our job now to keep up-skilling our two young nines and make sure they are ready. But they are two good lads and two good scholars of the game.
“Kieran has been terrific and we have great faith in himself and Dave Moore.”
Marmion has started in each of Connacht’s first three RaboDirect Pro12 games and was replaced by Murphy in the second-half of the team’s away win over Zebre in Parma.
It would prove to be the 30-year-old’s last league contribution for the foreseeable future after aggravating his cruciate.
Moore featured off the bench in the home defeat to Scarlets on Saturday.
Connacht play Zebre away in their first Heineken Cup outing of the season on 13 October. Harlequins visit the Sportsground a week later.