Injury scuppers Leavy’s Ireland World Cup dream

Injury scuppers Leavy’s Ireland World Cup dream
Dan Leavy of Leinster receives medical attention during the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final between Leinster and Ulster at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Leinster qualified for their 11th European Cup semi-final just 36 hours earlier, but a “bizarre mood” hung over the province’s HQ on Monday morning.

The news that Dan Leavy, Leinster’s flanker, was so badly injured that he has been ruled out of the World Cup, overshadowed Saturday’s win over Ulster.

That tournament is almost six months away, but such is the “complex knee ligament” injury that Leavy was immediately told he would miss the entire tournament.

“I was over in his house on Sunday, watching the Liverpool game, that was the only good thing, he’s a big Liverpool fan,” said Luke McGrath of his injured teammate.

He watched that goal go in the end and he was happy, but he’s gutted and I was absolutely gutted for him.

“Given the extent of the injury, he has a long spell out ahead of him.

“He’s very down at the moment, and it’s important for us as a team to support him as much as we can in this difficult time.”

McGrath was joined by James Ryan and Noel Reid in visiting the injured flanker, and by Monday morning their worst fears were confirmed when Leinster revealed the extent of the injury.

“He had worked so hard to get himself back and physically fit (from a calf injury),” said Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty.

“He’s such a huge threat either side of the ball. Any team he is playing in, he gives them a lot of confidence, so it’s a big loss for Leinster rugby and Irish rugby, not to have him on the field for the most important competitions.

“I’m sad for him as well because he works hard to get himself right. He’s a very competitive young fella, he’ll probably clear his head for a couple of weeks and then make a plan to get himself back on his feet. There’s a bit of a road ahead of him.”

McGrath missed the entire Six Nations with a knee ligament injury of his own, and knows just how testing the next few months will be for Leavy. 

“He’ll have little short term goals during however long it is, six or nine months, that’s the kind of challenge that awaits him,” he said.

“But there are such good staff here, the rehab guys are brilliant, they’ll take him through what’s needed, it’s important we try and stay positive with him as much as we can. 

"I obviously had those eight weeks out and it’s a very difficult time, every player wants to be out there playing and it’s very hard to watch at times from the sidelines.”

Leavy will be on a watching brief when Toulouse visit Aviva Stadium later this month, after the French side defeated Racing 92 in Paris on Sunday. 

Despite playing over an hour with 14 men after Zach Holmes was sent off, the four-time European champions had enough to defeat their Top14 opponents, to set up a semi-final in Dublin.

“It was some game to watch,” McGrath said of Toulouse’s 22-21 win. 

“It took some courage to come back (when down to 14 men), the style of rugby they played, even bringing on [Sebastien] Bezy, to make that substitution so early, they really nailed their tactics.

“They’re an incredibly tough team, we’ve already played them twice this year, and they’re just getting better as the season goes on.”

“We definitely rode our luck at times on Saturday. We’ll have to be better in all areas.

View this post on Instagram

Struggling to put into words how devastated I am with the injury... ⁣ ⁣ Firstly to miss the business end of the season with my @leinsterrugby brothers and our opportunity to pursue another European and league title. Secondly, to miss an opportunity to play in a world cup in Japan is haunting my thoughts. All I have ever aimed for in my career is the opportunity to shine on the world stage for my country and do the nation and my family proud. I fully back the @irishrugby boys to make a little bit of history as they always do and will watch on as #1 supporter. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ I have been blown away by the messages of support and encouragement I've received already. I am blessed to have the family and friends I do and thank everyone for their well wishes! ⁣ ⁣ Looking forward to starting the road to recovery soon... I will be back 🙌🏼 ⁣ ⁣ DL⁣

A post shared by Dan Leavy 🍃 (@danleafy) on

Dan Leavy said the injury which has ruled him out of the World Cup is “haunting” his thoughts. 

Leavy posted a message on instagram last night and vowed he will return. He wrote: ‘Struggling to put into words how devastated I am with the injury... .

“Firstly to miss the business end of the season with my @leinsterrugby brothers and our opportunity to pursue another European and league title. 

"Secondly, to miss an opportunity to play in a world cup in Japan is haunting my thoughts. All I ever aimed for in my career is the opportunity to shine on the world stage for my country and do the nation and my family proud. 

"I fully back the @irishrugbyboys to make a little bit of history and will watch on as #1supporter. Looking forward to starting the road to recovery soon... I will be back.”

GAA podcast: Quirke and Dalo's Allianz League Review, with Ger Cunningham and John Divilly

More on this topic

Leo Cullen expecting tough Ospreys challenge: ‘Cockers’ teams are always abrasiveLeo Cullen expecting tough Ospreys challenge: ‘Cockers’ teams are always abrasive

Doris aims to ‘own the jersey’ with back-to-back PRO14 gamesDoris aims to ‘own the jersey’ with back-to-back PRO14 games

I’m no superhero, everyone’s carrying something' - James Lowe ready for return after surgeryI’m no superhero, everyone’s carrying something' - James Lowe ready for return after surgery

Leinster investigation into alleged incident 'concluded to the satisfaction of all parties'Leinster investigation into alleged incident 'concluded to the satisfaction of all parties'

More in this Section

Liverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFALiverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFA

Brendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversyBrendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversy

'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September

O’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisersO’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisers


Lifestyle

Mountaintop monasteries, vicious-looking vultures, and a seriously impressive cable car.As Ryanair launches flights to Armenia, here’s why it deserves to be your next holiday destination

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra played a storming gig at Cork Opera House, writes Des O'Driscoll Live Music Review: Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Concerns about people’s ability to access their own money have been growing – here’s what the debate is all about.Are we actually going to end up as a cashless society?

Esther N McCarthy mixes it up with spins on kitchen classics, Munster-based design news plus an absolute diamond of a poufMade in Munster: Wish list of the best products in the province

More From The Irish Examiner