Injury blows for Ulster's Marty Moore and Ireland skipper Jonny Sexton

Marty Moore was stretchered off in Ulster's loss to Munster on New Year's Day
Marty Moore was stretchered off in Ulster's loss to Munster on New Year's Day

ULSTER'S Marty Moore looks to be set for a sustained period on the sidelines after it was confirmed that the tight-head prop is to go for a MRI scan to determine the full extent of the injury that forced his early withdrawal in last Sunday’s derby defeat to Munster at Ravenhill.

In a statement released by Ulster yesterday afternoon, the province confirmed that Moore suffered a ‘significant knee injury’. The scan was due to take place yesterday.

Moore fell awkwardly following a contest at a ruck, and after he initially received treatment on the pitch, his evening was cut short when he left the field on a stretcher.

It’s a major blow to the player as his recent good form had got him back in the conversation for a possible Ireland recall.

Moore hasn’t added to his previous 10 senior caps since 2015 but a run out for Ireland ’A’ last November against New Zealand was looked upon as a major step forward for the former Leinster man.

A run of vitally important games for Ulster starts on Saturday against Benetton, before facing La Rochelle, Sale and the Stormers over the coming weeks.

Moore’s injury comes at a time when Ulster aim to get back to winning ways following a poor run of results which has seen them pick up just one win in their last four outings.

There was better news as Alan O’Connor, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole and Ian Madigan all returned to training following injury, however it is still unclear if any of them will be involved this weekend.

LEINSTER have confirmed that Johnny Sexton requires a procedure to repair the cheekbone injury picked up in Sunday’s 41-12 win over Connacht at the RDS.

Sexton, left the field of play following a tackle on Connacht’s Jarred Butler and to rub salt further into Sexton’s wound, there is also the possibility that he may be cited for the high tackle on Butler that led to his injury. A decision on this will be known in the coming days.

It’s expected that Sexton will be out of action for at least six weeks.

The Irish captain now faces a race against time to be involved in this year’s Six Nations kick-off in Cardiff against Wales on Saturday, February 4.

This year’s tournament looks set to be Sexton’s last with his Irish career due to end following autumn’s World Cup in France.