La Rochelle has suffered a major blow ahead of next week’s Heineken Champions Cup final against Leinster as their influential scrum half Tawera Kerr-Barlow was ruled out with a broken hand.
Kerr-Barlow, 2015 world champion with New Zealand, is a key player for La Rochelle, who already have to do without their giant lock Will Skelton for the final in Marseille.
Kerr-Barlow was sent off 53 minutes into La Rochelle’s nervous 20-13 semi-final win over Racing 92 last weekend.
According to French reports, the 31-year-old will face the early setback for up to six weeks as he aims to return in time for the top-14 final should La Rochelle make it that far.
Thomas Berjon could come into play while Arthur Retière, usually a back three, replaced Kerr-Barlow in the win over Racing.
Ronan O’Gara’s men are currently seventh in the top-14 and have a key game in their hunt for a play-off spot when they host Stade Francais on Saturday.
Despite some hints that Skelton, with whom Leinster struggled in last year’s semi-final defeat, could be in the European decider, O’Gara said last week the wallaby’s season was practically over with a calf problem.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/champions-cup/la-rochelle-dealt-major-blow-as-tawera-kerr-barlow-ruled-out-of-champions-cup-final-clash-with-leinster-41659444.html La Rochelle dealt a heavy blow when Tawera Kerr-Barlow was eliminated from the Champions Cup final by Leinster