CJ Stander and Devin Toner emerge as injury worries for Ireland 10 months ago

CJ Stander and Devin Toner emerge as injury worries for Ireland

Joe Schmidt admitted his Ireland team had been thoroughly "bullied" by England and Rory Best said his team were bettered in every aspect of the game.

No-one in the press briefing room at the Aviva Stadium disagreed with them.

England won 32-20 after bringing a relentless intensity from the first to the 80th minute, in Dublin, and Ireland's chances of winning back-to-back Grand Slams are dead in the water.

To make matters worse, Ireland are now counting the cost of a rough night at the office. Three key players - CJ Stander, Devin Toner and Keith Earls - are now in the 'doubts' column ahead of next week's trip to Edinburgh to face Scotland.

Schmidt said Stander had suffered a facial injury - he took a bad blow to the jaw - and he will head off for a scan on that. Keith Earls, who came in for rough treatment from Tom Curry and Maro Itoje, did not return for the second half and the Ireland head coach said he suffered a hip-pointer injury that was "quite sore".

One area Ireland cannot afford to do without any more injuries is the second row so it is worrying to learn that Devin Toner 'rolled his ankle' after claiming a restart, late in the second half. On the trio, Schmidt commented:

"Keith Earls is pretty sore, he's got a hip pointer. He got his a couple of times early and was very sore. CJ Stander, we think has a facial injury, he's gone for a scan.

"Dev Toner with an ankle [issue], just taking that kick-off at the end of the game. It looks like he's rolled his ankle. It's been a bit problematic for him recently.

"The other guys are just bumps and bruises. There are physical and emotional bruises there for sure."

All of sudden, Ireland looked completely human and vulnerable.