Ireland have been dealt a major double blow ahead of clash with Australia
The fallout from Saturday's bone-crunching clash with the All Blacks is beginning to take shape.
Ireland will enter their final game of the Autumn series against Australia without two of their most influential players.
Jonathan Sexton and Robbie Henshaw have both been ruled out of this weekend's clash after the Leinster duo both left the pitch in the first half of Ireland's 21-9 loss against New Zealand on Saturday.
Jamie Heaslip and team manager Mick Kearney met with the media today and revealed the news that both players will miss this Saturday's clash with Michael Cheika's Wallabies.
Sexton limped off in the 18th minute with a hamstring injury. This injury, however, was not related to the one he had been nursing for the last couple of weeks, it was in fact his other leg which was injured. Kearney told reporters:
"Johnny Sexton has suffered a minor hamstring injury and has been ruled out of the game at the weekend."
Unsurprisingly, Robbie Henshaw has also been ruled out after the Athlone man received a gruesome hit from Sam Cane.
This was not a clash of heads https://t.co/ZWWA2vJT3x
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 20, 2016
"Robbie Henshaw was knocked unconscious by a shoulder contact to his jaw," Kearney said. "He suffered a concussion and will not be involved this week."
The team manager also revealed that the citing commissioner investigated a staggering 11 incidents from the All Blacks with regards to potential dangerous play. When questioned on these citings, Kearney commented:
"It doesn't surprise me, to be honest. What I would say is the citing officer picked out 12 incidents during the game. 11 of them referred to New Zealand.
"The one that referred to us was a clean-out of Sam Cane at a ruck and we were cleared of any foul play in that incident."
Meanwhile, CJ Stander, who left the field with concussion, and Rob Kearney, who developed concussive symptoms after the game, will follow their respective return-to-play protocols this week and are both doubts for this weekend's clash.
"Rob Kearney developed concussive symptoms after the game and following assessment he will follow the graduated return to play," Kearney explained.
"CJ Stander was removed for a suspected concussion and will complete the HIA [head injury assessment] process and the return to play protocols."
Meanwhile, Simon Zebo (cramp) and Tadhg Furlong (dead leg) will be closely monitored this week but are expected to be available for selection.
So that is six players who are either ruled out or are a doubt for Ireland's final Autumn International on Saturday. Lets hope, for the players sake at least, that the outcome of Saturday's game won't be as damaging.
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