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Ireland could be forced into changes after 'potential positive' Covid-19 test

It’s understood Iain Henderson and Rob Herring missed their team’s captain’s run today.

Ireland face the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.
Ireland face the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND COULD BE forced into late changes to their matchday 23 to face New Zealand tomorrow after a positive Covid-19 case was recorded in their camp after PCR testing.

The IRFU says further testing has been carried out in order to ascertain whether or not it was a false positive and they are now waiting for results.

The42 understands that the potential positive is among Ireland’s hooking stocks, with Connacht’s Dave Heffernan now on standby to join the Ireland squad.

Yesterday, Rónan Kelleher was named to start at hooker against the All Blacks, with Rob Herring on the bench, while Dan Sheehan is part of the wider Ireland squad.

Heffernan has not been part of the Ireland group in recent weeks but it’s believed that he is now on standby to link up with Andy Farrell’s squad.

It’s understood that Herring was absent from Ireland’s captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium today, while second row Iain Henderson – who was named to start tomorrow – is also believed to have missed the training session.

If Henderson were to be ruled out of tomorrow’s game, Tadhg Beirne would be promoted from the bench. 

Ireland have not confirmed which player had recorded a potential positive result in their PCR testing.

The entire squad has been re-tested and Ireland are waiting for the results.

“A potential positive case has been identified in one person via the latest PCR testing carried out on the Ireland squad,” reads an IRFU statement.

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“Additional testing is being undertaken to establish if this is a false positive.

“The entire Ireland squad and management have undergone additional lateral flow and PCR testing today.  The lateral flow testing returned no positives and the PCR results are expected later today.”

England have also been affected by Covid-19 again this week, with loosehead prop Ellis Genge ruled out of their clash with Australia on Saturday due to a positive test. 

Last weekend, captain Owen Farrell missed their win over Tonga with what later transpired to be a false positive.

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Murray Kinsella

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