Ireland confirm arrival of replacements as James Hume returns home 1 year ago

Ireland confirm arrival of replacements as James Hume returns home

There must be a revolving door at Auckland International Airport.

As James Hume heads for home, Stuart McCloskey arrives in New Zealand for his seventh or eighth coming with the Ireland squad.


The Ireland squad will continue to train at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland until Wednesday, when they travel to the South Island of New Zealand. It will be destination Dunedin for the Second Test of their five-game summer tour.

While the players have now waved off their second Ulster player in the space of a week - James Hume's groin injury sees him follow Iain Henderson [knee] out of New Zealand - there are some new faces on the scene.

Niall Scannell linked up with the squad, last week, and played the Maori All Blacks a day after arriving in the country. He now has call-ups company. A squad update from the IRFU reads:

'Ed Byrne arrived in New Zealand on Saturday evening, Stuart McCloskey arrives in-country today (Monday) and James Hume has now returned home.

'Rob Herring and Harry Byrne are expected to take a full part in training this week. Jeremy Loughman and Dave Heffernan are confirmed criteria one concussions so will follow the 12 day return to play protocols.  Johnny Sexton will complete the HIA process today.

'Mack Hansen has completed his period of isolation and is available to train.  Finlay Bealham will be available to train later this week once his period of isolation is complete.'


Stuart McCloskey of Ireland before a 2021 match against USA at the Aviva Stadium. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Stuart McCloskey replaces James Hume

Sexton may complete the Head Injury Assessment today, but he will still have to satisfy medics that he has no concussive symptoms after going off at Eden Park, on Saturday, following a blow to the head.


Hume will be gutted at how his tour played out. He came into his first summer tour in fine form with Ulster and with many pressing his case for the Test side.

He was going well against the Maori All Blacks but was down twice for treatment and limped off in the second half. TV cameras following him as he made his way from the field of play caught him exclaiming, 'F*** me!', and one really had to feel for the lad.

Those two words capture how the first two weeks of Ireland's summer tour is going, so far. Covid positives, concussions and injuries have dogged the Ireland squad, but hosts New Zealand have not had it easy, either.

Stuart McCloskey made his Ireland debut in the 2016 Six Nations but has only added five Test caps since then. Despite being a focal point of Ulster's attack, and a canny defensive asset, he has often found himself down the Test pecking order.


Andy Farrell will named his match-day squad for the Second Test against New Zealand in the early hours [Irish time] of Thursday morning.