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.
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton