Cian Healy: There was no "messing about" over Heaslip injury

Jamie Heaslip was a late withdrawal from Ireland's team before the England match

BY Daniel Kelly 13:35 Wednesday 22 March 2017, 13:35 22 Mar 2017

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"It's probably a bit of a slight on us".

Those were the words of Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, when asked if there was anything untoward with Jamie Heaslip's late withdrawal from the Ireland team to face England on Saturday.

The Leinster number 8 was a late withdrawal, with CJ Stander moving to the back of the back, and Peter O'Mahony replacing Stander on the flank. The Munster captain put in a Man of the Match performance, as Heaslip's absence was nullified.

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, at Life Style Sports Money Can't Buy Fan Experience Launch in Dublin, Cian Healy, a team-mate of Heaslip at international and club level said there was nothing sinister about what happened.

"You just have to look at Jamie's face when he was pulled from it to know the real truth. He was sick to his stomach about it. How upset he was, shows the level of player he is. Something like that is something media want to mull up to make a story."

"If someone deserves a starting position, they get spoken about for being a starter. If somebody is injured, it's an honesty call that their injured. Respect to the other player that gets called up into the team. We dont do any messing about like that. Certainly, Jamie doesn't."

Healy played in all five of Ireland's Six Nations matches, but only started the game against Italy, as he battled with Jack McGrath for Ireland's number one jersey. Despite coming off the bench in four of the games, the prop is happy to be getting valuable game time.

"The days of doing an 80 minute shift are gone. I used to like it because you could definitely rely on your fitness... Whether your now doing 60 minutes or whatever you have to be ready for it. With myself and Jack, it's rare one of us would be left with five minutes coming off the bench".

The 29-year-old prop could travel on his second Lions tour this summer to New Zealand. If not selected by Warren Gatland, he would be expected to feature for Ireland in three Tests in the United States and Japan. Right now, he is not worried what flight he will be on later this summer.

"I just want to play rugby. I don't care where it is. I'll play as many minutes as I can for whatever team I'm on".

Life Style Sports and Cian Healy were calling all Leinster fans to get involved in their Fuel the 4th campaign in the club's bid for European glory by asking them to post messages of support to their favourite player using #Fuelthe4th. The winner of the most inspirational post and three of their mates will watch Leinster take on Wasps in a Premium Level box in the Aviva Stadium on April 1st.

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