Wallabies lock Adam Coleman is to have a scan on his injured ankle and looks certain to be out for at least six weeks, handing London Irish another significant blow as they prepare to face Gallagher Premiership champions Exeter at Sandy Park on Saturday.

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Coleman damaged his ankle in the opening minutes of last Saturday’s 32-26 bonus-point win over Gloucester while setting up a try for Blair Cowan, and his loss for the remainder of February at very least comes hard on the heels of the shock news that 110-cap Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu to quit the club earlier this week for personal reasons to head home.

It has left director of rugby Declan Kidney with two large holes to fill in his pack but he can take comfort from the other development on Wednesday that former Argentina captain Agustin Creevy has signed a new contract to keep him at the Brentford-based club beyond the end of the current campaign. 

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Simon Easterby looks ahead of Ireland’s game with France

Coleman, who stands at 6ft 8ins and has won 34 caps for Australia, had to overcome shoulder surgery to get himself fit to resume playing with the large Australian contingent at Irish for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.   

He now faces another extended period on the sidelines and Kidney said: “It’s going to take a few weeks and he is going to get the ankle scanned and will see the right specialist. There are a few weeks in that one and if we see him towards the end of March we will be doing well. 

“Adam and Sekope are two world-class players. Adam had some surgeries in the summer to get right and there were some hiccups on the way back and it’s been very frustrating for him and us. We have to work through it and there is always an opportunity for someone else.

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“Agustin’s experience has been really important on and off the pitch. Within the first two weeks of arrival, he was taking the young players aside to help them and he is great for the young generation and the older one and has an ability to communicate really well. We just want him to play as long as he can and is a really good addition and our scrummaging has gone from strength to strength.”

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