Johan Ackermann has revealed a blow to their front row depth as Paddy McAllister has announced he will return to Ireland to play for Connacht whilst South African prop Ruan Dreyer will be out for up to 12 weeks following surgery. Robert Rees has the latest Gloucester injury report.
McAllister set for Irish return
Gloucester have revealed this afternoon that prop forward Paddy McAllister will return to Ireland at the end of the season to link up with Pro14 outfit Connacht. Since joining from French side Stade Aurillac before the 2015/16 season and has gone on to make over 50 competitive first-team appearances.
McAllister has struggled with injury this season and hasn’t long returned to the action after his latest spell on the sidelines.
In a statement to the fans he said, ”Thank you to everyone at Gloucester for the great honour to play for this amazing club, and a special thank you to the fans and the community because, in my four years here, my wife and I have made special memories and friends for life.
However, the opportunity to play back home in Ireland and close to family and friends as our own family is growing was something that we couldn’t turn down.”
Good Luck Paddy! pic.twitter.com/3mFHng1m80
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) 15 January 2019
Ruan Dreyer set for extended lay-off
Despite only making his competitive return against Sale at the end of December Dreyer has struggled with the groin injury that initially side-lined him for a number of weeks. Having had surgery on the groin Johan Ackermann revealed he will be out for around twelve weeks.
”He’s very frustrated that it’s worked out this way with injury upon injury. There’s nothing you can do about it, just do as best as he can. We don’t always know why these things happen but I’m a believer in everything will work out good and in this time you learn other things and grow as a person so hopefully he’ll be stronger and better when he’s back.
”He’s a hard worker so I won’t be surprised if he gets that injury down to 10-11 weeks because he works extremely hard in everything he does but the biggest thing is we must support him and gets back 100%.
”There was a choice of rehab but there was no guarantee that it would heal 100% and we didn’t want to waste seven or eight weeks and then get him back and re-injure himself. So the choice was to do the operation and know everything is fit and he can play again before the end of the season. You’ll never know how important those last few games will be.” Said Johan Ackermann.
Jaco Visagie heading back to South Africa
Short term cover hooker Jaco Visagie will return to South Africa following an extremely promising spell with the club. Speaking about his time at Gloucester Ackermann said, ”He’s finished with us. Unfortunately he was injured just before he was due to go back so he’ll get his injury sorted back out in South Africa.”
”We just want to thank him for his contribution. The players enjoyed him tremendously, he’s a great character and he had a great time here and made a massive contribution on field.” Said Ackermann.
So Jaco Visagie sounds like a done deal to Gloucester. Short term loan. #glawsfamily
— Robert Rees (@Rreesrugby) 12 November 2018
Front row strengthening not happening until after season
Speaking on whether he will strengthen the front row before the end of the season Johan Ackermann said, ”No, we are happy. Franco Marais has sat on two weeks earlier than we wanted to but he has got through the minutes. We have Todd Gleave back and Henry Walker going well and learning. He will get better by playing and James Hanson needs a week or two so by the time we start the next block we’ll have four hookers available.”
Further setback for Henry Purdy
Henry Purdy will be out for several weeks following a collision in training that has forced him to see a specialist in head injuries. Johan Ackermann saying, ”It’s a bit of a setback for him. We’ve had a semi-contact session and he had a knock on his neck that nobody thought was bad but he got a headache and the symptoms aren’t going away. He’s seeing a specialist tomorrow and then we’ll take it from there. Hopefully they’ll have the answer on when to clear him but he’s on a weekly protocol to return from concussion.”
Gloucester travel to Castres in round six of the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend.
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