Finlay Bealham at Ireland training today. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Bealham fit for Boks clash as Conan does 'bits and pieces' in training

The tighthead was forced off with a head injury against Tonga, while Conan has had a foot issue.

LAST UPDATE | 19 Sep 2023

IRELAND TIGHTHEAD PROP Finlay Bealham has been cleared to play in his side’s World Cup clash with South Africa this weekend in Paris after passing his Head Injury Assessment [HIA] protocols.

Bealham was withdrawn with a head injury 10 minutes after coming on at half time against Tonga last Saturday and did not return to the action.

However, Ireland assistant coach John Fogarty said this afternoon that Bealham will be available against the Springboks after being cleared of concussion through the HIA process.

Connacht man Bealham trained with Ireland earlier today and he looks like a certainty to be selected on the Ireland bench for Saturday night in Paris as back-up to Tadhg Furlong.

“He was taken off the field at the weekend and failed at the weekend but he subsequently passed his tests and he’s perfect,” said Fogarty.

“He was in a scrum today and he’s good to go. He’s symptom-free and our medics and World Rugby have cleared him fit to play. We’re delighted to have a full bill of health.”

Meanwhile, back row Jack Conan continues to step up his involvement in training as he recovers from the foot injury he suffered in a warm-up game against Italy seven weekends ago.

jack-conan Conan at Ireland training earlier today. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Conan has been rehabilitating away from the rest of the squad in recent weeks but he returned to the pitch to do some running last week and was with the squad for parts of their training session in Tours today.

Ireland have been optimistic about him being available against the Boks and Fogarty said that Conan will be available for selection, even while revealing that the back row hasn’t trained fully.

“Jack is doing bits and pieces today, he didn’t do a full-blooded one,” said Fogarty.

“But he’s on the field and he’s going to do something a little bit more tomorrow. He’ll be managed as a returning player would be. But yeah, we’re a full bill of health.

“At this moment in time, he’s taking part in training. He did bits and pieces, he’ll do more tomorrow and it’s then a decision to see how he is. He’s getting monitored like any returning player, he’s up for selection. We’re on our feet, everyone, it’s been brilliant.” 

Hooker Dan Sheehan returned to training last week after overcoming a foot injury and Ireland have previously said they expect him to be available for selection against South Africa.

Fogarty stopped short of confirming that but said the hooker has been taking part in scrums.

“Well, I saw him in a scrum today. I was very delighted to see him in a scrum, we did some timing in our scrums, some drop-ins, and Dan took part.

“It’s great to see him back involved. Yeah, again, he’s a player that is returning so we’ll see tomorrow, we’ll do a bit more tomorrow and we’ll see how he is, yeah.” 

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