Edinburgh star Bill Mata out for two months with ankle injury

Fiji No 8 requires operation on ligaments he damaged in European Challenge Cup quarter-final

Bill Mata in action for Edinburgh during the Guinness Pro14 semi final against Ulster at BT Murrayfield earlier in the month. Picture: Ross Parker/SRU/SNS

Edinburgh No 8 Bill Mata will be out for “six to eight weeks” after undergoing ankle surgery this week, head coach Richard Cockerill has confirmed.

The Fijian fans’ favourite limped off in the first half of Edinburgh’s 23-14 loss at Bordeaux-Begles in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final a week past Saturday and, as well as the start of the Guinness Pro14, will also miss Fiji’s Autumn Nations Cup campaign, which includes a pool match against Scotland at BT Murrayfield on 28 November.

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Cockerill said: “He will have surgery on his ankle on Thursday to repair a ligament.

“He will probably be six to eight weeks, meaning he will miss the first two rounds of the Pro14 with us then the international period with Fiji. Once he has surgery we'll know more, it may be shorter, it may be longer but roughly it will be six to eight weeks.

“It's tough. He has been playing very well. We know Bill is pivotal to ourselves so it's disappointing. Not just for us but for Fiji too. He will be disappointed and so will lots of rugby fans who want to see Bill playing in a full-strength Fiji team.”

Edinburgh start their 2020-21 Guinness Pro14 campaign against Ospreys at BT Murrayfield on Saturday night.

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