Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton faces a race against time to be fit for the autumn internationals after breaking his jaw while playing for Racing Metro.
The 29-year-old British and Irish Lions star was injured in a heavy clash with Craig Burden in Sunday’s French top-flight contest against Toulon.
South African hooker Burden was sin-binned for the challenge.
The first of Ireland’s three autumn games is against South Africa in Dublin on 8 November.
They then host Georgia and Australia, with head coach Joe Schmidt keen to ramp up the long-range preparations for 2015 World Cup.
Schmidt hopes Sexton will complete a move back to Leinster from Parisian side Racing Metro next summer, although the French club are keen to retain his services.
The 45-cap playmaker is arguably Ireland’s most important backline general now that Brian O’Driscoll has retired, so Schmidt will give him every opportunity to make the fitness grade for the autumn series.
Sexton – Ireland’s only frontline star plying his trade overseas – endured a difficult first campaign in France last term.
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