Scotland back Stuart Hogg will miss the rest of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations championship - and may be sidelined for the remainder of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury against Ireland.
The Glasgow Warriors full-back, who will join Exeter Chiefs in the summer, fell awkwardly after a late tackle by Irish flanker Peter O’Mahony and was replaced by Blair Kinghorn.
Scotland’s medical staff have already ruled Hogg out of the final three matches of the Six Nations to allow his shoulder time to recover, but the Daily Mail is reporting that Hogg may have sustained a more serious injury that could require an operation and sideline him for the remainder of the season.
The 26-year-old spoke of his desire to win something with Glasgow before his move to the Gallagher Premiership in the close season.
If Hogg’s injury is confirmed as a stage-three shoulder tear, he would likely go under the knife as soon as possible, which could result in him struggling to be fit for the start of the World Cup in September.
Speaking after the 22-13 loss to Joe Schmidt’s side at BT Murrayfield, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend revealed that Hogg had wanted to carry on, but his shoulder was “not right”.
He added: “He’s sore, very sore. We’ll see what will happen over the next few days.
“These things happen quickly but there was a collision that forced him to fly over and land on the point of his shoulder.
“It was a big moment in the game. We conceded the try a minute after that and lost one of our best players.”
Kinghorn will likely assume full-back duties for the remaining three matches, with Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour starting on the wings.
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has already backed Kinghorn to “do a job”, adding: “Fifteen is where we play him and he can fit in there from the start at international level if needed no problems.”
Kinghorn has often been deployed as a wing for Scotland despite playing full-back at PRO14 level, but with Hogg facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the 21-year-old could solve Townsend’s selection worries.