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Ponty Pair Suffer Injury

Ponty Pair Suffer Injury

Welsh rugby paid a heavy price for Pontypridd’s thrilling Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Connacht in Athlone on Saturday night.

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Kiwi-born centre Sonny Parker – one of the stars of the autumn internationals – is out for six weeks with a broken arm. His centre partner Johnny Bryant, a possible replacement for Parker in the national squad, is out for four weeks with a hamstring injury.

‘Connacht haven’t done Welsh rugby any favours at all,’ Pontypridd coach Lynn Howells admitted today. ‘It’s very disappointing for both guys.

‘Sonny’s not in very good humour at the moment – he’s out for six weeks which means he’ll return just in time for the Six Nations, but with no rugby under his belt.

‘But that’s what sport is all about – these things happen and we just have to get on with it.’

Wales coach Steve Hansen admitted the injury was a kick in the teeth for the national side, but it could have been a lot worse.

‘It’s disappointing for Sonny, because he showed some really good qualities in the autumn and he will be a key player for Wales in the future,’ Hansen said.

‘But it’s not the end of the world, and we’re quite strong in that position. If a tighthead prop had gone down, we might be out the back cutting our throats.

‘The key thing is that we get a good medical plan for Sonny and get him back as soon as possible. This is simply an opportunity for someone else to step up to the plate.’

Alternatives at No 12 include Tom Shanklin, Mark Taylor, Bryant, Jamie Robinson, Andy Marinos and Llanelli pair Matthew Watkins and Leigh Davies.

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