CRAIG GILROY LEFT the Heineken Cup fray on Friday night having broken his nose in an accidental collision with teammate Andrew Trimble.
The winger looked in considerable pain — and his nose had a touch of the ‘Rory Best’ about it — and was replaced by Michael Allen. Gilroy had been one of Ulster’s liveliest players and had a key role in the build-up to Ruan Pienaar’s first-half try in the 27-16 win.
While a broken nose should not be enough to rule Gilroy out of contention from Saturday’s crucial Pool 5 clash with Leicester Tigers, the additional concussion he sustained in the clash may. Ulster confirmed that Gilroy and prop Declan Fitzpatrick, who also shipped a concussive blow, will see specialists and follow the proper return-to-play protocols.
Tommy Bowe was in contention to feature against Tigers at Welford Road having made good progress from the groin injury he picked up on Ireland duty. After training at Newforge today, however, the 29-year-old was ruled out.
An official statement from Ulster Rugby reads, “Bowe continues to recover well from the injury that he sustained playing for Ireland in November, however, it is not expected that he will be available for selection for Saturday’s match.”
Fionn Carr fends off Kameli Ratuvou of Zebre. INPHO/James Crombie
Connacht coach Pat Lam, meanwhile, had some praise for one of his in-form wingers after his side defeated Zebre 20-3 on Saturday. While Matt Healy scored a try, came close twice more, and won the man-of-the-match accolade, Lam spoke highly of the growing influence Fionn Carr is having on the team.
The former Leinster back spent the first half of the season in and out of Lam’s plans but has rediscovered his attacking verve. Carr often breached the Zebre backline but Lam felt he was lacking support from teammates, leading to wasted scoring opportunities.
“We put him in the right places to be able to kick-start the team and you want guys to be able to run in off that,” Lam said. “There’s so much details that goes into finish those [attacks] off. You want each guy to do that as it is a team game.”
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