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Ulster signing's nine-month lay-off

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PRO 14    

Ulster's new 127kg tighthead sidelined for nine months through injury

Ulster have been dealt a serious blow 10 weeks before the start of their new Guinness PRO14 campaign as one of their new signings has been told he will be sidelined for nine months.

Gareth Milasinovich, the tighthead signed from Worcester, has sustained an ACL tear in training that will require an operation.

The Irish club took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce the setback. “Unfortunate news for Gareth Milasinovich, who sustained an ACL tear in training.

“Gareth has been scheduled for surgery to have this repaired and he will be sidelined for approximately nine months. Wishing him a speedy recovery!”

The 127kg prop, rated the 17th best tighthead in the Gallagher Premiership according to the RugbyPass Rugby Player Index, is a 26-year-old South African born in Johannesburg who qualifies for Ireland through his grandfather Norman McFarland, a former Ulster player.

It was last February when Ulster boss Dan McFarland hailed the signing of the hefty front row. “Gareth is a big strong man who will provide us with another good option and enhance competition for places in the front row,” he said. 

“We have been aware of his development since his move to Worcester and we’re looking forward to seeing him contribute to Ulster from next season.”

Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons said at the time: “Gareth has made a valuable contribution to the team during his time here at Sixways.

“Although we are sorry to see him go, we appreciate that his move to Ulster affords him the opportunity to challenge for international honours. We wish him all the very best.”

Milasinovich has become English qualified at Sixways under the three-year residency rule. However, while the prospect of switching into the Irish system proved too tempting, he will be nowhere near the pitch when Ulster open their new Guinness PRO14 season at home to Ospreys on September 27. 

WATCH: Ireland skipper Rory Best provides an update on his country’s pre-World Cup preparations 

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Ulster's new 127kg tighthead sidelined for nine months through injury