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24th Aug 2019

Joe Schmidt provides Cian Healy and Conor Murray injury updates

Jack O'Toole

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has said that prop Cian Healy has sprained his ankle and that x-rays have come back clear.

Healy and scrum-half Conor Murray were both concerns for Ireland in their 57-15 loss to England on Saturday after picking up respective ankle and head injuries but Schmidt said after the game that he was hopeful that neither player would be a concern heading forward.

“Cian has sprained his ankle,” said Schmidt.

“He has had an x-ray and that’s clear. We’d be hopeful. He walked from the pitch and we’re hopeful that he’ll be okay. With Conor he passed his HIA (head injury assessment). We had a bit of a breakdown in our communications.

“He wasn’t actually meant to go back out before half-time so at half-time we took him off. We were only planning to give him maybe 45 or 50 minutes and then give Luke [McGrath] another decent run.

“It’s one of things leading into a World Cup at this time of the year that you are trying to mix and match and give different amounts of time to different players to let them put their best foot forward.

“You’re also trying to build a little bit of continuity for some of those guys that haven’t had as much time in the team over recent years.”

Captain Rory Best said that Ireland have to now lift their intensity in training after a horrendous first hit out for a lot of players and that the line-out must now be immediately addressed after Ireland lost six of their own throws at Twickenham.

“I think we’ve got to put more pressure on ourselves in training,” said Best.

“I think we said it in the press that everyone feels like they’re in a good spot now. You’ve come off a good pre-season, you’re running, you’re training against each other.

“You put pressure on yourself but nothing is quite like the pressure when you get into a game. It can either confirm that you’re in a really good spot or you can go ‘oh shit we’re not quite where we want to be’.

“Today was a ‘we’re not quite where we want to be’ and the line-out is going to be one of them and we’re going to have to make sure that we nail that.

“We were really happy with our process and we just let that drift a little bit today. Both hookers were a wee bit slow to get set. The line was laboured coming in but we’ve just got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

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