Connacht flanker Jake Heenan is a major doubt for the start of the Pro12 campaign after suffering a bad gash in his hand during the preseason clash with Montpellier.

The 24-year old New Zealander was taken to hospital on Thursday evening in France after a stud went through one of his hands.

Coach Pat Lam is waiting to establish the extent of the gruesome injury but said that the flanker is now a doubt when they open the defence of their Pro12 title against previous champions Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground in three weeks.

“He got a stud right through his hand. He got quite a nasty gash and had to go to hospital,” said Lam.

“I’m concerned about that, it is unfortunate as he had being going well. We will know more in due course but I think he could be a doubt for the start of the Pro12.”

Both Connacht and the European Challenge Cup winners Montpellier ran out most of their squads in the encounter which Jake White’s side won 21-19.