The St.George Queensland Reds have been dealt a triple injury blow, with Liam Gill, Chris Feauai-Sautia and Eddie Quirk all ruled out for multiple weeks.
Gill, who had just returned from a five-week layoff due to a hamstring injury, strained his calf during the Blues match and is expected to be out for two weeks.
Quirk will be out for two weeks, after suffering a rib injury during the match.
Feauai-Sautia dislocated his shoulder while diving to try to stop a Blues’ try late in the first half and will be out for the remainder of the season, after Reds medical staff opted for surgery to fix the injury. His recovery is expected to take six months.
Reds head coach Richard Graham was understandably disappointed to lose three players at such an important juncture in the team’s season.
“It is disappointing to lose the three boys,” Graham said.
“Eddie (Quirk) has started every game this season and had been very good at the tackle and the contest.
“Liam had just returned from a five-week layoff with a hamstring injury and I thought he was very good in the 50 minutes he played last weekend.
“We are fortunate that both Beau (Robinson) and Curtis (Browning) have been involved every week in the match squad. We also have Simmo (Rob Simmons) and Dave McDuling who can play at blindside flanker.
“Chris dislocated his shoulder when diving for a ball. The scans revealed a tear and the medical team believe the best course of action is a complete reconstruction. This means he will be unavailable for at least six months.”
The Reds rehab team now features eight players, with the new additions joined by Lachie Turner (ankle-return Round 16), Aidan Toua (pectoral-return Round 17), Chris Kuridrani (ankle-return Round 16), Jonah Placid (knee-return with Australian Under 20s), Pettowa Paraka (knee-return Round 17).
In some good news for the Reds, winger Dom Shipperley is available for selection after recovering from a hip injury suffered against the Stormers in Round 7.
The Reds face the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday (Mother’s Day) at 4:05pm.
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