This latest setback for the loosehead prop raises doubts about his participation in next month’s European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures against Wasps and Castres Olympique, but speaking yesterday ahead of the Cardiff game, head coach Matt O’Connor is awaiting further information before determining the full extent of Healy’s injury.
“Potentially [he could miss the European games]. We’ve just got to wait and get a little bit more information back from the specialist and we should have a little bit more information on that later today,” O’Connor stated.
Meanwhile, with the defending champions eager to lay down a marker this evening before their clash with Munster on October 4, Kane Douglas is set to make his debut in the second row alongside the equally imposing Devin Toner.
The former Waratahs lock will offer a strong presence in the lineout for the visit of Mark Hammett’s side, while the front row pairing of Michael Bent and Marty Moore have opportunities to move up the pecking order.
In his fourth consecutive start of the season, Darragh Fanning completes a back three that includes Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden. The familiar half-back partnership of Jimmy Gopperth and Eoin Reddan will aim to dictate the flow of the play, but the most interesting selection comes in the centre, where Ian Madigan and Gordon D’Arcy will don the 12 and 13 jerseys respectively.
Cardiff have opted for a total of seven changes to their starting line-up, with George Watkins making his debut and hooker Kristian Dacey recording his 50th appearance for the region.
R Kearney; F McFadden, G D’Arcy, I Madigan, D Fanning; J Gopperth, E Reddan; M Bent, S Cronin, M Moore; D Toner, K Douglas; R Ruddock, D Ryan, J Heaslip.
B Byrne, E Byrne, T Furlong, M McCarthy, J Conan, L McGrath, S Crosbie, M McGrath.
R Patchell; A Cuthbert, C Allen, D Hewitt, G Watkins; G Davies, L Jones; G Jenkins, K Dacey, A Jones; J Hoeata, C Dicomidis; J Turnbull, S Warburton, J Navidi.
M Rees, S Hobbs, T Filise, M Cook, M Vosawai, T Knoyle, A Thomas, D Fish.