Andy Farrell explains Cian Healy selection after injury scare

Cian Healy

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has explained that Cian Healy has quickly recovered from what looked like a serious injury on Wednesday.

Healy had to be carted off and looked to be in a serious amount of pain after suffering a leg injury against the Māori All Blacks on Wednesday, but surprisingly, the veteran prop has been named on the bench for Saturday’s game against New Zealand.

Based on the level of discomfort that Healy was in, being ruled out of the entire tour of New Zealand appeared to be a possibility, so the fact that he will play again three days later comes as a particular surprise.

Farrell was speaking at a press conference after naming Ireland’s match-day squad and revealed that Healy’s injury was not as serious as it first appeared.

Andy Farrell on Cian Healy.

“I think he had a bit of a scare more than anything else. He recovered pretty quickly in the changing room after the game,” Farrell explained.

“He’s still a bit sore this morning but he’s obviously going through a few protocols now with the rehab etc, but we’re going to give him until tomorrow. He’s made such improvement, we’re optimistic about that.”

While Healy’s inclusion on the bench was a major surprise, the number he will wear on his back on Saturday is another unexpected turn of events.

Healy has been named at number 18 in Ireland’s match-day squad, rather than 17, which indicates that he will cover at tighthead rather than his more familiar position of loosehead.

Farrell didn’t say if this was the case when asked about it, although he did say that both Healy and Bealham can play as a loosehead and as a tighthead, despite each man’s usual positions.

“Cian can play both sides and so can Finlay [Bealham]. They’re both training that way as well.”

The prognosis for James Hume doesn’t look as positive.

There was less positive news for James Hume, who also came off injured during Ireland’s loss to the Māori All Blacks on Wednesday.

A decision is yet to be made on the Ulster centre’s participation for the rest of the tour, although Farrell didn’t sound overly positive on Hume’s chances.

“It’s not looking too great but obviously we’re only a few hours after the game. So people do tend to wake up pretty sore but it’s not looking great for him,” Farrell admitted.

“He has a groin issue that we’re going to get checked out, MRI scan-wise.”

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