Leicester lose Tonga star Veainu for months

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London (AFP)

Tonga international Telusa Veainu faces several months out of action after suffering a double fracture of the jaw in his club Leicester's European Champions Cup defeat by Munster on Saturday.

The 26-year-old full-back -- who joined the Tigers after the 2015 Rugby World Cup -- collided with Munster's Irish international wing Andrew Conway early in the second half of the 33-10 defeat. Both players had to leave the field of play.

Veainu's absence will be keenly felt by Leicester as the New Zealand-born back has been in sublime form for them this term scoring five tries in 12 appearances.

"It is very disappointing," Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor told the club's official website, while also confirming an expected absence of several months for Veainu.

"I said immediately after the game there is a duty of care for the ball-carrier, and Telusa has been seriously injured after a collision with an opposition's shoulder and head which will make him miss a key part of the season.

"We look forward to his full recovery and getting him back on the field in due course."

The Tigers will realistically need to beat Munster in next weekend's return fixture as they are presently five points adrift of the Irish province with three pool matches remaining.

Only the five pool winners and three best runners-up progress to the quarter-finals.