Rugby This is another clever component!
The only thing anyone ever remembers about these infernal warm-up matches are the injuries. Consider the pre-tournament games from World Cups past and the images that appear are of Tommy O’Donnell and David Wallace prone on the turf in Cardiff and Dublin, or Brian O’Driscoll holding his face in Bayonne.
We don’t yet know if the sight of Joey Carbery on a motorised stretcher, head in hands, will be remembered in the same way but there is massive cause for concern in the Irish ranks.
For 50 minutes, the Munster out-half was the real shining light on a mercurial Dublin day as he handled himself superbly with ball in hand despite the tricky conditions.
Then, his ankle turned as he made a defensive play and when he arose he couldn’t put weight through his left leg.
Initial X-rays cleared him of a fracture, but they’ll let the swelling come down and scan the joint today to assess the ligament damage.
Joe Schmidt was upbeat on his prospects, but as he spoke about Carbery being fit for England on Saturday week the mind drifted back to the Six Nations when he said something similar about the out-half’s hamstring. He would manage less than a half of rugby in three months.
Different scenario, different injury. It would be stretching it to say Ireland’s World Cup hinges on the result of this scan, but they have a much better chance of achieving their goals with a fit and firing Carbery.
“He was reasonably close to the tryline, he got both his arms under and was in a crouched position and he just got hit sideways and kind of got his ankle underneath him. Now, that could happen to anyone,” Schmidt said when asked if there was anything he can do to protect a player whose meteoric rise is consistently checked by injury.
“Joey has not had the best of luck and sometimes you can have that run. You know, Tadhg Furlong had that run for a couple of years where he didn’t play a lot and then he got into a rhythm and he’s fine.
“So, hopefully, Joey will get through this ankle injury. Hopefully, it’s not too bad and it might only be that he’s off his feet for a week and he’s back training and potentially still in the mix for England. If not for England, the Welsh game after that.
“You always worry about injuries in these games, full stop, across the board. It’s so import
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