Munster suffer huge injury blow ahead of the new season

Francis Saili will miss the first half of the season

Munster, Francis Saili, Peter O'Mahony

Francis Saili and Peter O'Mahony during a Q&A ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Munster have been dealt a significant blow ahead of the start of the new Pro 12 campaign.

Centre Francis Saili has been ruled out for up to four months after the province revealed that he has had to undergo surgery on a shoulder injury.

"Francis Saili underwent a further shoulder procedure on Monday and is currently recovering post-op. Speaking with media today, Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus confirmed that the New Zealand centre is expected to be sidelined for approximately three to four months," the province confirmed in a squad update on their website.

The former All-Black first suffered the problem at the tail-end of last season.

It also means he will be unavailable for much of the pool stages of the European Champions Cup.