There is a possibility that Ireland will have a clean bill of health for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup encounter with hosts Japan.
Bundee Aki and Peter O’Mahony emerged as fresh doubts after head injuries yesterday, while there was also uncertainty surrounding Jonathan Sexton’s fitness.
Following the game against Scotland, Aki and O’Mahony passed the HIA 2 test and will complete HIA 3 this afternoon.
If both players pass today’s test, they will not go through the return-to-play protocols and will be available for selection this weekend.
Sexton suffered “a bang on his thigh” after 20 minutes against Scotland and “felt a bit of awareness of it”, but the Ireland camp say he was taken off tactically after Ireland secured a bonus point in the second half.
Sexton was on the pitch yesterday as Conor Murray took over kicking duties, raising concerns about the outhalf’s fitness. Murray missed two of his efforts off the tee, with Jack Carty taking up the responsibility when he entered the fray.
Ireland say that, as it stands, no player is ruled out for the Scotland game.
Josh van der Flier suffered a cut over his eye, received a couple of stitches but is fine. He was taken off due to cramp late in the game. The IRFU say Conor Murray and Tadhg Furlong were taken off tactically.
Meanwhile, Rob Kearney, Joey Carbery and Keith Earls are all fully fit and will train fully this week. Robbie Henshaw is “running well” and his rehab is “accelerating”. The IRFU are “hopeful” that he will be back into more organised training this week.
Ireland’s players board the bullet train today to travel south towards Shizuoka, which is where they will face tournament hosts, Japan. Jamie Joseph’s side got off to a winning start with a 30-10 win against Russia last Friday.
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