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Ireland wing Mack Hansen in action against England last year. Evan Treacy/INPHO

Mack Hansen ruled out of Ireland's Six Nations campaign with shoulder injury

The playmaking wing suffered the injury in the closing stages of Connacht’s New Year’s Day victory over Munster.

IRELAND WING MACK Hansen will miss the Six Nations and will be out of action for up to four months after picking up a shoulder injury in the closing moments of Connacht’s New Year’s Day win over Munster.

The 26-year-old will undergo surgery in Dublin for a dislocated right shoulder this Monday, and a timeframe of three to four months has been pencilled in for his recovery.

Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins, who said it is a big blow for Ireland, Connacht and the player himself, said the western province were surprised there wasn’t further action regarding the clear-out which has sidelined their star player.

“We were surprised there wasn’t at least further scrutiny on the clear-out to be brutally honest. But if the citing officer decides that it is not at least a discussion-level of being a possible red card then there is no further we can take it,” said Wilkins.

“It’s disappointing for us to lose Mack for such a period of time. Obviously there will be a knock-on effect to the Irish campaign in the Six Nations as well and most of all, [it's] disappointing for Mack. He was starting to find some form and rhythm, having been stop-start since the World Cup, so everyone loses out in that sense and I think the fans will miss watching him play as well.

“So it is up to us to fill that gap and obviously other players get a chance to step up.”

Wilkins said Hansen, who has scored nine tries in his 21 international appearances and eleven in his 32 games for Connacht, is taking the blow in his stride.

“He’s not lost his sense of humour thankfully. He was in with us at the end of last week, very much around the place, albeit in a sling. We have had lots of contact with him. Obviously it’s about trying to keep his spirits up and the key thing is once you get this surgery and get those initial couple of days out of the way that you can start on that rehab campaign.

“He has had a shoulder injury before, a similar injury when he was at the Brumbies in Australia so although that is unfortunate to have it twice, at the same time it means he is familiar with the surgical process, familiar with the rehab and we will support him through all of that as well,” added Wilkins.

Connacht, who head to Lyon looking for their first win in the Champions Cup, have additionally confirmed that they will be without centre Cathal Forde until February. He is also out with a shoulder injury picked up against Munster, while scrum-half Caolin Blade is going through the return-to-play protocols and will be assessed for Lyon during the week.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that winger Byron Ralston has been cited for his clear-out which led to Munster No.8 Jack O’Donoghue being stretchered off in that game at the Sportsground. Wilkins said they are waiting on a decision.

Written by John Fallon and posted on

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