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Top 14
Toulon face back-row injury crisis
ESPN Staff
August 11, 2014
New recruit Mamuka Gorgodze will miss the start of the season © Getty Images
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Toulon are facing a potential back-row crisis ahead of the season start with three of their players injured at the weekend and two on Rugby Championship duty.

Mamuka Gorgodze suffered medial ligament damage in their win over Racing Metro while Steffon Armitage and Virgile Bruni also limped. Toulon will also be without Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Juan Smith for their season opener against Bayonne at the weekend as they are on Rugby Championship duty with Argentina and South Africa respectively.

If the injured trio are unable to take to the field then Toulon will only have Chris Masoe and Gerhard Vosloo available in the back-row department. The original diagnosis for Gorgodze sees him miss the first two to three weeks of the season and Toulon boss Bernard Laporte is waiting to see how the other two recover.

"We've got some injuries. We don't know yet if they are serious or not," said Laporte. "Mamuka has injured his medial ligament on his left knee. He could be out for four days, or a few weeks. Steffon got his tibia stood on, while Virgile took a knock on a muscle which was already causing him a problem. "We were up against a tough side and a contender for the Top 14 and Europe. We struggled in the first half up front. After the break we were better and started to dominate up front."

Toulon's title rivals Toulouse are also suffering some of their own back-row woe with Thierry Dusautoir set to miss the first three games of the season with a thigh injury. His Toulouse team-mate Schalk Ferreira ruptured his bicep tendon at the weekend and will be out for five months.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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