Steffon's injury blow at London IrishBy Alan Manicom
September 15, 2010
London Irish have suffered a major blow with the news that Steffon Armitage has a fractured right leg.
The England flanker’s injury follows hard on the heels of the loss of back-row forwards Richard Thorpe (elbow), Jamie Gibson (broken leg) and Chris Hala’Ufia (calf).
But there was some good news yesterday when George Stowers escaped a ban following his dismissal for a high tackle on Nick Abendanon in last Saturday’s 20-13 defeat at Bath.
An RFU disciplinary hearing ruled that Stowers’ red card was sufficient punishment and will take no further action.
It was thought that Armitage had suffered a torn calf muscle when he limped off midway through the first half of Irish’s Aviva Premiership game at the Recreation ground.
But scans this week revealed the England international has a small fracture in the smaller of the two shin bones.
The club is hoping, though, that Armitage will be sidelined for a matter of weeks rather than months.
Exiles finished Saturday’s match with Declan Danaher as their only recognised back-row forward. He was forced to switch to openside flanker, though, when Armitage went off.
And second-row forward Matt Garvey came on to take Danaher’s place on the blindside.
Centre Seilala Mapusua was seen packing down as a makeshift No 8 in the closing stages of the match after Stowers had been sent off.
Exiles are now considering their options ahead of Gloucester’s visit to Madejski Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off).
Kieran Roche is capable of playing in the back row, but coach Toby Booth may be wary of moving him from second row where he has been so dominant in London Irish’s first two games of the season.
There is a chance that someone may be brought in as temporary cover, but that is not going to be easy at such short notice.
The club may also be tempted to recall Jon Fisher from his season-long loan at London Welsh.