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19th Aug 2023

Dan Sheehan Ireland’s biggest injury worry after England swept aside

Patrick McCarry

Ireland team

“We’ll have to get it looked at or scanned in the morning.”

Andy Farrell believes Bundee Aki and James Lowe will both be fine, as Ireland head into Samoa week, but Dan Sheehan has suffered a recurrence of an old injury.

The Leinster hooker was looking good in his first game of the 2023/24 season but then suffered a foot injury and left the game after only 37 minutes. He was replaced by Rob Herring and is set for a scan on Sunday.

Asked for an injury update, after Ireland’s 29-10 victory over England, Farrell said Lowe and Aki, who both went off with head knocks, should be good to go. On Sheehan, he said:

“Dan Sheehan has lost a bit of power in his foot. Seems to be the same old story… we’ll have to get it looked at or scanned in the morning, so we’ll probably know more.”

With Rónan Kelleher yet to feature in the World Cup warm-ups, Farrell was asked how much the hooker area is a concern for him. He admitted there was ‘possibly a concern’ over Sheehan but ‘Ronan is going to be fine’. He also revealed that Munster hooker Diarmaid Barron had also been called into camp, earlier in the summer, while Tom Stewart is available if needed.

Dan SheehanIreland players, from left, Ronan Kelleher, and Jonathan Sexton watch on during the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match against England, at Aviva Stadium. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Dan Sheehan concern, aside, Ireland are well set

“It had a bit of everything,” Andy Farrell reflected on his side’s win. “Good, bad and ugly.

“Scored some great tries,” he added. “We won, which is great. We scored five tries, which is nice for the crowd… story of the day is Keith Earls getting his 100th cap.”

Farrell said Cian Prendergast, who started at No.8, ‘was very busy, always trying to make something happen… a couple of errors but got over them well’. On the Billy Vunipola yellow card, which was upgraded to a red, he commented:

“It’s a red card that somebody will have a look at, and make the right decision. It is what it is… it highlights massively that it isn’t just tackle height, it’s discipline… we have to make sure we’re the most disciplined side.”

Ireland are off to Bayonne this week for their final warm-up game, against Samoa, before the World Cup.

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