‘Nasty’ facial injury likely to rule Carty out

Jack Carty is likely to miss Connacht’s next two games after suffering a cut to his face in the URC win over Ospreys.

The Ireland out-half came on as a second-half replacement for Andrew Smith but had to go off after a collision with second row Rhys Davies while making a tackle.

“Jack Carty had a nasty facial laceration and went off to hospital Saturday evening and got that fixed up so there’s a good chance he’ll miss a week or two,” head coach Pete Wilkins told RTÉ Sport.

“We’ll have him assessed over the next couple of days and then get a definite on that. He’s probably the only main concern out of that group.

“He wasn’t there overnight, it was a visit there on Saturday evening and they managed to get him patched up pretty quickly.

“It was a nasty cut on the side of his face but I think they did some good work on it, he’ll make as quick a recovery as possible.”

Meanwhile, Wilkins says he expects that Ireland trio Mack Hansen, Bundee Aki and Finlay Bealham will be available for selection when their international break ends.

Winger Hansen injured his calf in the World Cup victory over Scotland and his ankle in the quarter-final loss to New Zealand nine days ago.

Mack Hansen was at the game on Saturday

“The calf is fine, he rolled an ankle actually at the end of his participation in that game,” said Wilkins.

“That was what brought him off the field. He might need a couple of weeks rehab around that. He’s got his allocated leave time as well.

“All of those international guys have got three weeks’ break.

“They are into week two of that now. He’s into that rehab to get a head start on it and we’ll manage that over the next month as he goes.

“I’ve spoken to all three of them individually and had good chats about where they are physically and where they are at mentally what the next couple of months look like for us as a team as well.

Bundee Aki was Ireland’s best player at the World Cup

“The great thing is all three are desperate to get back and play as quickly as possible.

“Then there is the disappointment that came with that World Cup campaign. At the same time, I think they all realise that once they’ve had a bit of a break, which they are obviously in the middle of now, the best way of moving ahead is to get playing again.

“It’s great news for us. They recognise the excitement around the place at the moment in terms of what Connacht are doing and they are desperate to play their part in that as well.

“As and when their bodies are good to go, I think the minds will be good to go and we look forward to having them back.”

Caolin Blade scored three tries in the first half

Connacht got off to flyer against the Ospreys, with scrum-half Caolin Blade’s first-half hat-trick paving the way for a 34-26 win.

As well as a new coaching ticket, in which Wilkins brought in Scott Fardy and John Muldoon, there were six players making their Connacht debuts: Joe Joyce, JJ Hanrahan, Andrew Smith Tadgh McElroy, Seán O’Brien and Liam McNamara.

Wilkins added: “It was very pleasing. I said to the coaches and I’ll say to the players at lunchtime, it was super important for us to win and to get a bonus point win at home in front of our fans but also, in that first half at least, to show some glimpses of what we want to be about this season.

“It wasn’t perfect by any means but there were enough snapshots of what we are trying to do in attack and some defensive sets, penalties won and some real ballast around the set-piece as well.

Pete Wilkins got off to a winning start at Connacht

“There was enough there to show our supporters and the outside world how we want to play this year.

“That will only get better and we’ll keep developing that over the weeks to come. That was the crucial bit, to show what we want to be.

“The win gives everyone a vote of confidence in terms of the work we’ve done over the 15 or 16 weeks leading into it.”

Connacht’s next match is against Glasgow Warriors, who beat Leinster 43-25 yesterday, on Saturday (3pm) at the Sportsground.

Watch Leinster v Sharks in the URC on Saturday from 4.30pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player

Watch Benetton v Munster in the URC on Sunday from 1.30pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player

Watch New Zealand v South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday from 7pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player, follow a live blog on or the RTÉ News app

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