Wednesday 23 January 2019

Reid's ankle injury to force Blues midfield rethink

Noel Reid will wait with bated breath on the exact extent of the damage to his left ankle. It doesn't look good.

The 24 year-old inside centre was all set to throw down a challenge to Gordon D'Arcy at Leinster; D'Arcy, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding and, maybe, Robbie Henshaw at Camp Ireland.

"He's got a pretty significant ankle injury. We just don't know the full details of it just yet," said Leinster coach Matt O'Connor.

For the moment, it removes from Leinster's arsenal a player D'Arcy described "as the best passer in our squad" last season and puts a jolting stop to Reid's progress, making his Ireland debut against Argentina in June.

Ireland's answer to Matt Giteau, in the way he plays the game, has a distance to travel before he can be compared the Toulon and Wallaby master.

New signing Ben Te'o may not land in Dublin until November, depending on the progress of his South Sydney Rabbitohs in the National Rugby League in Australia.

Anyway, the Samoan is designed for polar opposite purposes as a direct, hard-charging hard-man whose pot of gold will be earned on the far side of the gain line.

The immediate solution could be to place Ian Madigan at twelve as a second receiver foil to Jimmy Gopperth.

He has certainly proved capable there in the position even though wrestling the number ten jersey from Gopperth is still his primary goal.

Then, there is the ageless D'Arcy still wrapped up in the cotton wool that is the Player Welfare Programme before he embarks on his 17th season with the province.

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