Sale Sharks would have left Sandy Park in frustrated and sombre mood on Saturday and the butcher’s bill after the Round 22 match-up with Exeter Chiefs will have done nothing to brighten their spirits.
Flyhalf AJ MacGinty – one of Sale’s stand-out players of the season – has been ruled out of the semi-finals after sustaining a serious knee injury in the 80th minute of Sale's agonising 1-point loss.
This also renders the 31 year-old unavailable for USA selection for their upcoming internationals. With Will Magie also on the sidelines with injury, the USA’s flyhalf options take the forms of Will Hooley and the uncapped Luke Carty.
It is a hugely regrettable scenario for Both Sale and the Eagles as MacGinty seemed to be playing some of the best rugby of his career. The exact details of the injury are not yet clear, but rumours are that it appears to be an ACL, which will exclude him from action for the better part of a year.