Ireland face a nervy wait on the fitness of Jordi Murphy and Joey Carbery as the duo are set to learn the extent of their injuries by undergoing scans today.
Murphy, who only arrived in Japan at the beginning of the week due to Jack Conan’s withdrawal from the squad due to injury, was put straight into the action against Russia on Thursday but suffered a rib injury and was removed from the fray after 26 minutes.
Carbery was originally named on the bench for the clash with Russia but the Munster out-half felt some irritation in his ankle during the captain’s run on Wednesday and was subsequently ruled out of the bonus-point win. The 23-year-old Auckland native originally suffered an ankle injury in the first warm-up against Italy back in August so it is a worry that the injury has resurfaced.
However, there is a positive spin to put on this. Ireland don’t face Samoa until Saturday week which could give the duo enough time to recover.
“He’s (Murphy) going to get scanned today, just to get exact detail on what’s happened with him,” Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek said.
“So we obviously know it’s the ribs but once we get that done we’ll be able to determine what his plan will be.
“From what I’ve seen on TV he was in a bit of pain but these things can settle down. We’ll give him the best chance to get it right. We’ve got a decent turnaround to the next game so we’ll be able to assess him and go from there.”
With regards to Carbery, it’s very much the same plan according to Feek.
“We’re going to assess him (Carbery) today as well.
“We’ll wait and see how that goes. I think it was more precautionary. There are some unlucky instances in rugby where you get a little stamp or something like that and rather than take a risk, you minimise that.”
Ireland have picked up plenty of injuries since they arrived in Japan but Feek doesn’t believe that it has been too bad.
“The surfaces are firm and the players are trying to do things as best they can. It’s a contact sport. I’m not surprised. I don’t think it’s been too bad.”
Of the players who could potentially be called up to replace Murphy, Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell looks to be next in line as he is the only back-row player remaining from the original 45-man squad which convened at the beginning of the summer.
O’Donnell is currently in South Africa as Munster prepare to take on the Southern Kings on Saturday, so it will be interesting to see if he will be named by Johann van Graan in today’s team announcement.