Jamie Heaslip's Six Nations lies in tatters after back injury
SCHMIDT HAS TO PLAN CAMPAIGN WITHOUT STAR NO 8 HEASLIP
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip will probably miss the rest of the Six Nations with what amounts to a fractured back.
Following scans, the number eight has been diagnosed with "fractures of the transverse process of three vertebrae," according to an IRFU statement last night.
In fact, the injury is not as serious as it might have been because the spine has not been compromised in any way.
The discomfort felt at the moment should be succeeded by a full recovery and no long-term issues.
Their positive estimate puts Heaslip out for four weeks and in with an outside chance of making the Wales match at The Millennium Stadium on March 14.
In reality, he could miss the internationals at home to England and away to Wales and Scotland, with Leinster colleague Jordi Murphy most likely to step into the number eight jersey.
France second row Pascal Pape has been cited for the incident and will appear in front of an Independent Disciplinary Committee later this week.