EDINBURGH coach Richard Cockerill has condemned a tackle which left one of his players with a triple fracture, declaring it was “as nasty as you’ll see”.

George Taylor will be out of action for two to three months after having his jaw, cheekbone and nose broken in the tackle by Scarlets lock Josh Helps on Sunday. Helps was red-carded for the offence in the PRO14 match, which Edinburgh won 6-3.

“It’s a nasty tackle, and it’s as nasty as you’ll see, and it’s something that we need to get rid of in the game,” Cockerill said yesterday after revealing the extent of his player’s injuries. “If you lead with your head, which effectively is pretty much a flying head-butt, really, you’re going to cause damage.

“George got a broken jaw, a broken cheekbone and a broken nose, so he’s having surgery as soon as possible. And we’re probably looking at between eight and 12 weeks [before he can come] back to play.

“That’s Scarlets’ third red card for the same offence in three games. Look, the disciplinary process will take its course, but we’ve got a player with basically a broken face who won’t play now for at least two, potentially three months.

“There are accidents and there are mitigating circumstances, but in this case I just don’t understand what the player was trying to do, if I’m honest. He’s come across, he’s high the whole time, so was our player, upright, and he’s just led with his head straight into someone’s face.

“What’s he trying to do? If it wasn’t intentional, what is he actually trying to do? Because I don’t know, and the ultimate fact is that you have a very nasty clash of heads – the top of his head into the cheekbone and eye-socket area of George Taylor, and it’s a serious injury.

“If you did that anywhere else but a sporting field, you’d be in serious trouble, wouldn’t you? I don’t want to see it in the game, I want to protect our players, and I think the game has a responsibility to punish appropriately.”

Cockerill added that Taylor had already started to feel better, but insisted that insult had been added to injury by what he understood had been a failure by Helps to apologise.“George is doing well. I spoke to him yesterday – he’s recovering and starting to feel better. He was heavily concussed. Having had scans he knows the extent of the damage, so we move on and do everything we can to fix that.

“As far as I’m aware there was no apology at the time or since. Even when the player was leaving the field he was shaking his head as if to say that was the wrong decision. The authorities will deal with it as they see fit and we’re waiting to see what that is.”

Usually a centre, Taylor (inset)

was playing on the wing as a late replacement for Eroni Sau, whose wife had given birth on the morning of the match. Edinburgh were without a host of first-choice players either because of international duty or injury, but dominated up front to claim their first league win of the season and end a losing run of six games in all competitions.

“It was a good win,” the coach added. “It was a win that we could have had at Munster as well. We’d been playing reasonably well: we just hadn’t been finishing games off.

“The game could still have gone either way. The players worked very hard. There were still lots of guys missing. It will give us some confidence – always nice to win, it’s nice to come in on a Wednesday morning for our first day of training and to review a game on the back of a win is great.

“Winning gives you confidence. Winning’s a habit, and we’re happy that we’ve broken the losing streak we were in, so we don’t have to talk about it any more.”

Sau will be available for Monday night’s home game against Cardiff, in which Scotland Under-20 international Nathan Chamberlain will deputise at stand-off for Jaco van der Walt, who is getting married in his native South Africa tomorrow.