Yorkshire Carnegie’s survival bid rocked by injury blows

Luckless Yorkshire Carnegie have been rocked by a triple-injury blow as their season of woe continues.

Joe Carlisle

Experienced centre Darryl de le Harpe, the Namibia international who only joined earlier this month to bolster their feint hopes of avoiding relegation, has been ruled out for six weeks.

The 33-year-old broke a cheekbone on debut in the 55-3 loss at Coventry and has needed to undergo surgery.

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Dan Lancaster is also out, the promising young fly-half having endured a MCL knee injury in last week’s 52-10 home defeat to Ampthill.

Plans for tomorrow’s game against fellow strugglers London Scottish at Emerald Headingley hit further problems when hooker Louis Mussetti suffered a PCL knee injury in training earlier this week.

He now faces a spell on the sidelines to further weaken the options of Phil Davies.

In more positive news, the Carnegie director of rugby has seen another of his former Namibia players arrive in time for the Championship contest.

Cliven Loubser, who was the African nation’s fly-half under Davies at the World Cup last year, starts on the bench having flown into the UK on Wednesday.

Carnegie have lost every game this season including all 13 league fixtures and they have just one solitary bonus point to their names.

Visiting Scottish are their nearest rivals in 11th but they have three wins and are 21 points clear, highlighting just how crucial it is for Carnegie to finally get off the mark tomorrow.

The hosts have made four changes in total.

Ex-England international Tom Varndell returns on the wing and Tainne Finn getting the chance to impress with a starting spot on the opposite flank.

Joe Carlisle will start at fly- half in place of Lancaster with Joe Green partnering him at scrum-half.

James Elliott starts on the bench.

Up front, Callum Bustin swaps places with James Hasson as Bustin starts at No8, while there is a welcome return amongst the replacements for experienced front-rowers Sione Faletau and James Flynn.