Clermont suffer injury blow

Clermont Auvergne (7/2 – Heineken Cup outright) have been dealt a blow in their bid for European success after captain Julien Bonnaire was ruled out for six weeks.

Bonnaire broke his arm during a 19-12 defeat at four-time European champions Toulouse (13/2 – Heineken Cup outright) on Sunday and is expected to be sidelined for some time.

The 35-year-old back row will miss the final two matches in Pool 4 for Clermont, including Saturday’s clash with Harlequins (33/1 – Heineken Cup outright) at the Twickenham Stoop.

Clermont, the Heineken Cup runners-up last season, are four points clear of Quins going into the penultimate encounter with three wins from their opening four games, but could surrender their position at the top if they lose at the Aviva Premiership side this weekend.

If they are to keep their place at the top, Clermont will have to do it without their skipper who has also been ruled out of their home game against Top 14 rivals Racing-Metro.

A statement released by Clermont on Tuesday said: “This injury does not need an operation but will force the Clermont flanker to have his arm immobilised for several weeks and will keep him off the pitch for a period estimated at six weeks.”

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