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Rugby

07th Apr 2023

Ryan Baird distraught as he suffers brutal shoulder injury against Leicester

Patrick McCarry

Ryan Baird

LEINSTER 55-24 LEICESTER TIGERS

Ryan Baird lasted just 22 minutes of Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter final clash against Leicester Tigers at Aviva Stadium. The 23-year-old had been in fantastic form.

With Leinster leading 14-3 after two converted Garry Ringrose tries, met by a Tigers penalty, the home side were rollicking toward the last four. We then had a halt in play, and momentum, after Baird seriously damaged his shoulder in contact.

The 6-foot-6 Baird, who played superbly as a lock for Ireland in the Six Nations was showing his versatility by packing down at blindside again. His early input was positive but that shoulder injury – a Leinster medic looked to try pop it back into place – ended his evening. I could also be the end of his season.

Baird was in real pain as he was treated by the medical staff and was well aware that he was in a bad way. His jersey was used as a makeshift sling to support his damaged shoulder as he trudged to the sidelines. When he was next pictured, on the bench, 10 minutes later, he wore a glazed, crestfallen look.

Scott Penny came in as openside and Caelan Doris switched to blindside. Leicester Tigers captain Julian Montoya was also lost to injury [concussion] before the half was over.

Rinrose, who was returning from a concussion break himself, looked in flying form in the opening 20 minutes, racing over for two tries.

Leicester did punch back, before the break, as Anthony Watson dived over in the corner and Harry Potter converted his try to reduce the arrears to 17-10.

The four-time European champions were reduced to 14 men for a period of the second half, after Caelan Doris was sin-binned, but they added 10 unanswered points during that period. Once Jamison Gibson-Park scored for the Blues, it was all said and done.

Jimmy O’Brien, Scott Penny and Jon McKee all added tries as Leinster cruised home, albeit with James Lowe limping off injured too.

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