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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fate takes a hand in Henshaw's 6N

28 November 2015; Robbie Henshaw, Connacht, receives medical attention during the second half. Guinness PRO12, Round 8, Munster v Connacht. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
28 November 2015; Robbie Henshaw, Connacht, receives medical attention during the second half. Guinness PRO12, Round 8, Munster v Connacht. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Robbie Henshaw could be in doubt for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales with a fractured hand.

Given the lie of the land, the Irish will be under pressure to carve out a positive result against Warren Gatland at The Aviva Stadium on February 7th as they have to travel to Paris and London later in the Championship.

Needless to say, Connacht have been brought crashing back to earth after their historic win over Munster.

The Irish international fractured a metacarpal in offloading to Bundee Aki for the game-winning try in the final play of the 18-12 victory in Thomond Park.

The Leinster and Munster transfer target attended a surgeon yesterday in Dublin to undergo a more detailed examination.

Interestingly, Connacht coach Pat Lam does not expect him back until mid-January at the earliest.

"Unfortunately, Robbie fractured his hand in the last play of the game.

"He is with the surgeon in Dublin at the moment, he had an x-ray and at this stage he will probably be out for six weeks," said Lam.

That means that Henshaw will miss the back-to-back Challenge Cup games against Newcastle Falcons and the Irish derby encounters at home to Ulster and away to Leinster over the Christmas period.

The bad news does not end there either for Connacht with loose-head prop Denis Buckley, a real turnover machine, facing three weeks out with an ankle injury.

Number eight Eoghan Masterson, in the form of his life, will also be out for a similar period with a fractured thumb.

Flanker Nepia Fox-Matamua, their Player of the Month for October, will be probably be out for the season after it was confirmed that he has suffered an ACL injury.

Body blow

This is a real body blow as Lam was already dealing with the ongoing injury to former New Zealand U20 captain Jake Heenan.

All of this comes as further evidence that they are not yet equipped to challenge for the PRO12 honours.

Connacht will have tighthead prop Rodney Ah You back for this weekend's trip to Cardiff Blues following the death of his father in New Zealand.

Second rows Quinn Roux and Ben Marshall, centre Dave McSharry and number eight Eoin McKeon are all available as well this weekend.

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