Six Nations 2024 Rugby News

Ireland And Connacht Star Mack Hansen To Miss 2024 Six Nations

Ireland And Connacht Star Mack Hansen To Miss 2024 Six Nations

Connacht and Ireland winger Mack Hansen will miss the 2024 Guinness Six Nations. He picked up an injury against Munster in the United Rugby Championship.

Jan 8, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Ireland And Connacht Star Mack Hansen To Miss 2024 Six Nations

In a significant setback for the defending Guinness Six Nations champion, Ireland, wing Mack Hansen has been ruled out of the upcoming tournament due to a dislocated shoulder. 

The 25-year-old suffered the injury during Connacht's United Rugby Championship clash against Munster and is set to undergo surgery, sidelining him for an estimated 3-4 months. 

Hansen, who rapidly has become a key player under Ireland's head coach Andy Farrell, has scored nine tries in 21 tests since making his debut in February 2022. His absence undoubtedly will be felt as Ireland starts its Six Nations campaign against France in Marseille on Feb. 2. The action will conclude with a crucial Dublin encounter against Scotland six weeks later. 

Connacht, Hansen's club, also revealed that he will miss the final two Investec Champions Cup pool games against Lyon and Bristol. 

The loss is particularly disheartening for Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins, who expressed surprise that no further action was taken following the incident that led to Hansen's injury. 

"We were surprised there wasn't at least further scrutiny on the clear-out, to be brutally honest," Wilkins said. "But if the citing officer decides that it is not at least a discussion level of being a possible red card, then there is no further we can take it."

The impact of Hansen's absence extends beyond Connacht and into the national team's Six Nations campaign. 

With his impressive track record and consistent performance, Hansen was poised to play a crucial role in Ireland's bid to retain the championship. The timing of the injury is unfortunate, given that Hansen was beginning to find form and rhythm after a stop-start period since the World Cup. 

Wilkins acknowledged the disappointment.

"So, it is up to us to fill that gap, and obviously, other players get a chance to step up," he said. 

The challenge now lies in how Ireland and Connacht will adapt to the absence of a key player, with fans undoubtedly feeling the void left by the dynamic winger.