Despite a confident win against Scotland last night, there are “big concerns” about the injuries sustained by several Irish rugby team members.
Ireland defeated Scotland 36 to 14 in the Rugby World Cup last night, securing its place in the quarter-final against New Zealand next week.
Off the Ball Reporter Aisling O’Reilly told On the Record the win in Paris is “an experience I definitely won’t be forgetting anytime soon”.
“The Irish fans, the 50,000 that were here, were just amazing and no doubt the team fed off throughout the game,” she said.
“Andy Farrell always turns to the fans and he says, ‘You don't realize what this means for us that to have you all here’, and he's constantly asking about figures back home and how many people are tuning in.”
Wow… Goosebumps ☘️
Peter O’Mahony 100th cap 👏🏼
Here we go! pic.twitter.com/tJKaRkOokv
— Aisling O'Reilly (@ashoreilly) October 7, 2023
Despite this success, concerns have been raised as multiple players sustained injuries in last night’s game.
“Mack Hansen came on and off yesterday,” Aisling explained. “He had passed the HIA return-to-play only for his calf to go.
“At the minute, it’s unsure how much of a concern it is – they said they’d let us know in the next few days, but it’s definitely a concern.
“James Lowe took a bang to the eye - he may be struggling for this weekend.
It also emerged that Peter O’Mahony has a hamstring strain, and a decision is to be made on his fitness levels.
“That’s a lot of injuries in one area, so we could maybe see Jimmy O’Brien make his World Cup debut,” Aisling said.
“The other big concern is James Ryan – he did have a bit of a wrist injury throughout the week it looks like he got another knock on it.
“He is a big concern.”
Despite these concerns for the players, excitement ahead of the quarter-final against New Zealand began “straightaway” after the match, according to Aisling.
“[The team] are quietly confident that they're coming up against New Zealand,” she said.
“It's not going to be an easy game... but I think most of all they’re just really enjoying this, and it translates onto the pitch.”
Aisling said the current Irish rugby team is “the best we’ve ever had”.
“We have players like Johnny Sexton that that we may never see come around again,” she said.
“It is a special group – it feels like there’s something brewing.
“Even when I’m speaking to fans, before and after the games, they all bring that up that there's something different about this team.”
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