Scottish centre Joe Ansbro is facing a minimum of three months out of the game after breaking his neck.
The London Irish star suffered the injury playing in a pre-season friendly against Munster and is almost certain to miss Scotland’s November internationals and face a race against time to play before Christmas.
Scotland team doctor, and long standing British & Irish Lions medic, James Robson, said: “The management of the injury Joe has sustained typically involves a period of between six-eight weeks immobilisation then a further four-six weeks of rehabilitation before he can look at a return to the game.”
Ansbro is still in hospital in Cork following the game and hopes to be able to fly home later in the week. He suffered a triple fracture of the C1 vertebra at the top of his spine and will have to learn to live with a metal halo on his head for the next three months.