French teen recovering after sickening head clash

by AFP

Teenage Clermont winger Samuel Ezeala was all smiles and gave the thumbs up from his hospital bed on Monday following a sickening concussion suffered against Racing 92 on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Spaniard was knocked unconscious on his debut in a clash of heads with Racing's Fiji-born France international wing Virimi Vakatawa.

"Good news on Samuel Ezeala as the MRI scan showed nothing to worry about," said Clermont in a Twitter post with the smiling picture of Ezeala.

Ezeala is due to remain in hospital on the outskirts of Paris for the rest of the day before returning to Clermont on Tuesday, the club said.

It was a miserable day all round for the injury-ravaged French champions, who shipped eight tries in a chastening 58-6 humbling at Racing's indoor U Arena ground.

Ezeala only turned 18 a month ago and his debut lasted just under an hour as he suffered a nasty blow to the head when trying to tackle Vakatawa.

The youngster remained motionless on the ground for some time before being covered with a white sheet and carried from the pitch on a stretcher.

Clermont had picked an inexperienced team, particularly in the backline, to rest players with one eye on next week's return to European Champions Cup duty.

They travel to Northampton on Saturday with a five-point lead at the top of Pool 2 knowing a victory would almost certainly book their place in the quarter-finals and ensure they finished the group stages ahead of reigning champions Saracens, whom they beat twice in December.