Ireland facing prop injury crisis
June 9, 2012
Cian Healy was his aggressive self before suffering a shoulder injury © Getty Images
Ireland coach Declan Kidney is hoping for good news after two more front-line props went down injured during Saturday's 42-10 loss to New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.
Leinster loose-head Cian Healy was forced from the field in the second-half with a shoulder knock while Ulster's Declan Fitzpatrick - who made his Test bow in place of the injured Mike Ross - was compelled to retire with a hamstring issue.
Kidney, whose side go at it again with the All Blacks in Christchurch next weekend, will assess Healy's fitness over the next 24 hours and wait for the verdict on Ross's hamstring issue before sending for further cover.
"[Cian] got a knock in the shoulder so we will have to look at that and see how it goes in the next 24 hours," he said. "We will have to see how Mike Ross, too, is holding up and Declan, obviously, pulled up with a tight hamstring."
Among the other walking wounded for the tourists is centre Keith Earls, although Kidney has played down fears over his injury by insisting that such knocks are part and parcel of the game.
"Other bangs and knocks are what you would expect so nobody is ruled out," he said. "[Keith Earls'] shoulder is a little bit sore too but I could give you names of half a dozen lads that are like that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September