Ireland U20s head coach Noel McNamara has confirmed that two players have been ruled out of the remainder of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina.
Flanker Ciaran Booth suffered a knee injury in the bonus-point win over Italy. The circumstances surrounding the injury have come in for criticism on social media as Booth was in the jackal position at a ruck before being cleared out by an Italian player who was in from the side and off his feet.
McNamara also confirmed that David McCann’s tournament has come to an end after he suffered a head injury in the win over Italy. McCann is 18-years-old and as a result, must undergo a 23-day return-to-play protocol rather than a six-day period.
“Unfortunately, Ciaran Booth’s tournament is over,” McNamara said.
This is shocking. Jackal position, totally exposed and a player torpedos in at the side. Nasty. pic.twitter.com/uYkkXrkE1Z
— Cian Tracey (@CianTracey1) June 12, 2019
“He suffered a knee injury early in the game against Italy and will play no further part. Also, David McCann suffered a head injury because David is still only 18, he does not follow the six-day return to play, he’s on a 23-day return-to-play protocol, so his tournament is also over.”
The news of McCann and Booth’s departures is unwelcome as Ireland have suffered extensive injuries in this campaign with Iwan Hughes, Sean French, John Hodnett and Stewart Moore all succumbing to knocks which have ended their involvement.
The format of the competition has come in for criticism with just four-day turnarounds taking place between the pool fixtures.
For McNamara, his priority right now is providing the opportunity for the players to recover as the squad moves on to Rosario where their final fixtures will be played.
“In terms of our priorities now, today is a travel day. That’s the end of our time here in Santa Fe, we move down to Rosario for the rest of the competition. Really, it’s about recovery, it’s about rest – mental as well as physical.
“It’s been a pretty gruelling three games, huge physical tests all three of them which have brought different challenge at different times. So, really, it’s about resting and recovering and a renewal of energy for the challenge that lies ahead.”
Ireland now face into a 5th place semi-final with familiar foes England who they have beaten twice already this year – in the Six Nations and in the opening round of this year’s world championship.
“In terms of our next opposition, obviously, we’re pretty knowledgable of England, particularly this year, it’s the third instalment or the third Test of a three-Test series.
“So, we’re looking forward to that challenge. I think we’ve both got a pretty good idea of what’s coming down the line, so, it’s a pretty exciting challenge for us to be honest.”
Ireland will face England on Monday at 7.30 pm (Irish time).