Injury Update

Sean O'Brien suffers hamstring injury while Kearney 'out for some time'

It was an intensely physical battle at Stade de France.

Murray Kinsella reports from Stade de France

IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt says wing Dave Kearney will be sideline for an extended period with an AC injury suffered in the 10-9 Six Nations defeat to France.

The Leinster wing was forced off in the first half of an intensely physical game at Stade de France, while Sean O’Brien, Mike McCarthy and Johnny Sexton were all injured too.

Sean O'Brien goes off injured with Dr. Eanna Falvey O'Brien suffered a hamstring injury. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The nature of O’Brien’s injury was particularly worrying, as the Tullow native planted his left leg and then crumpled to the turf as his knee appeared to give way.

“It looks like a hamstring injury,” said Schmidt post-match at Stade de France. “We feared it might be a knee with the way he planted and turned, but it looks like an upper hamstring injury.

“Losing Sean early in the match, he had trained really well early in the week and was highly motivated for this game. I do think he’s always a loss because of the high work rate and power he brings to our carry.

“That was disappointing, but we’re going to have to assess over the next 24 and 48 hours, then plan how we best attack our trip to Twickenham.”

It would be a surprise if O’Brien is fit in time for that clash in London in a fortnight, while Kearney is almost certain to miss out.

Dave Kearney down injured Kearney has injured his AC joint. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“He’s got an AC injury that’s going to keep him our for some time,” confirmed Schmidt, before providing updates on Sexton and McCarthy.

“Johnny knows what he’s going to get when he comes here and he’s prepared for it, but he was pretty knocked up at the end of the game.

“Obviously Mike McCarthy, I haven’t had a chance to talk to the medics yet, but he appeared to suffer a concussion. He’ll now have to follow some protocols on the back of that. I’m hoping that everyone else is going to be ok for two weeks’ time.”

Schmidt said Jared Payne had played the final 30 minutes with a dead leg as Ireland “didn’t really have anyone else who could go on at that stage in his position,” Fergus McFadden having replaced Kearney in the first half.

All in all, it was a brutal afternoon for Ireland in a physical sense six days after a similar Test against Wales in Dublin.

Mike McCarthy down injured Mike McCarthy took a heavy blow to the head. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“We had one two years ago from Scotland to Wales, but they were both home games,” said Schmidt of the six-day turnaround. I think that allows you to look after your squad a little bit more.

“We had to catch a flight and it might not sound like a big distance, but it was about four and a half or five hours from Carton House to get to our hotel here in Paris. That’s five hours that you’re locked into seats and guys tend to seize up a little bit.

“It’s not ideal on a six-day turnaround, but the one thing that we don’t want to be doing is making excuses. France came out in that second half and played really strongly. On the back of that, we were starting to lose our legs a little bit and that’s unfortunate.”

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