Machenaud out of Cham­pi­ons Cup fi­nal:

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Front Page - GERRY THORN­LEY Rugby Cor­re­spon­dent

Rac­ing 92 have suf­fered a ma­jor blow two weeks out from their Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup fi­nal against Le­in­ster in Bil­bao with the news that scrum-half and place­kicker Maxime Machenaud suf­fered rup­tured knee lig­a­ments in his side’s 39-15 win Top 14 win away to Bordeaux Be­gles on Satur­day.

The in­cum­bent, 29-year-old French scrum-half is ex­pected to be side­lined for six to nine months. It is a cruel blow for Machenaud, which also con­tin­ues a hugely un­for­tu­nate run of ill-luck for the player.

In the 2016 Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup fi­nal loss against Sara­cens, Machenaud was forced off early on with con­cus­sion, thus com­pound­ing the ab­sence of Dan Carter from that fi­nal as it de­nied Rac­ing any kind of kick­ing game.

The en­su­ing French Cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Barcelona’s Camp Nou, at­tended by al­most 100,000 sup­port­ers, was some­what bit­ter­sweet for Machenaud, for al­though Rac­ing won, this was after he had been bran­dished with a red card.

The like­li­hood is that Machenaud, who has been an ever present in their run to the fi­nal and has scored 85 points, will be re­placed by the ex-Brive scrum-half Teddy Irib­aren.

In a fur­ther blow for the Parisians, ex­pe­ri­enced hooker Dim­itri Szarzewski has been side­lined for what is ex­pected to be three to six months, after un­der­go­ing an op­er­a­tion on the torn bi­cep he suf­fered in their semi-fi­nal win over Mun­ster in Bordeaux a week pre­vi­ously.

Rac­ing 92’s Maxime Machenaud will miss the Cham­pi­ons Cup fi­nal

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