Fly-half headache for Tigers

Hougaard ruled out following operation

Last Updated: 06/02/09 11:22am

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Hougaard: Sidelined

Hougaard: Sidelined

Sky Bet

Leicester Tigers are facing a crisis at fly-half after Derick Hougaard was ruled out for a month following an operation to remove his appendix.

The South African had been expected to be given an extended run in the No.10 jersey as Toby Flood is away with England for the Six Nations.

Geordan Murphy, who could fill in at stand-off, is also involved in the championship with Ireland, leaving acting head coach Richard Cockerill with limited options.

Full-back Sam Vesty has played at fly-half at the start of his career, while experience former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger, who Leicester's missed the last match against the Ospreys, has won two caps there.

"Toby will be with England until Tuesday when he could return to us, if they don't pick him," Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

"It all depends on what happens against Italy this weekend but you imagine he will be involved (against Wales) next week.

"Derick became ill at the start of the week with appendicitis and has had his appendix out. He will miss three or four weeks of action. It's not great for us.

"Geordan Murphy is away with Ireland and he would have been another option at 10.

"So we have Sam Vesty and Aaron Mauger who have played in that position before."

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