Zane Kirchner: Dragons' South African full-back dislocates shoulder

Zane Kirchner
Zane Kirchner won the last of his 31 Test caps as South Africa lost to Japan in the 2015 World Cup in Brighton
Pro14: Ulster v Dragons
Venue: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast Date: Friday, 22 September Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC NI, online and the BBC Sport app, highlights later online and Scrum V on BBC Two Wales on Sunday from 18:00 BST

Dragons full-back Zane Kirchner faces a long lay-off after dislocating his shoulder.

The South African international was taken off during the first half of the Dragons' 21-8 win over Connacht on Friday.

The Welsh region will learn this week if Kirchner needs surgery, which could rule him out for up to three months.

The 32-year-old, who can also play on the wing, joined Dragons from Leinster in the summer.

Dragons boss Bernard Jackman said: "We're not 100% sure yet with Zane.

"He's got a second opinion, but he dislocated his shoulder so you could probably guess-timate. It's probably a couple of month, three months.

"It depends whether he needs an operation or not, but he'll be out for a while."

Kirchner's injury and those to fellow backs Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Connor Edwards and Jared Rosser prompted Dragons to sign Thretton Palamo from Bristol on a one-month loan.

Another South African, Carl Meyer, is set to start at full-back against Ulster in Belfast on Friday.

Jackman says Meyer will join other Dragons who have not had much game-time this season in being given a chance to prove themselves at Kingspan Stadium.

Wales back-three player Hallam Amos will also be "looked at" for the Dragons 15 jersey while Kirchner is out.

But that will not happen against Ulster as Jackman promised a host of changes.

"We'll change the team up. If you look at our squad for the first three games, it's been pretty much the same group bar one or two injuries," said Jackman.

"And at this stage of the season, it's still a new coach and new coaching staff and we're trying to get to know everybody and give them an opportunity.

"Now they're going to get a chance to play in a Pro14 game in a very, very tough place to go against a very good side.

"So we'll find out a lot about them and how they react.

"Hopefully they get a win and five or six of them can show they deserve to play against the Southern Kings in the next game."

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