big blow

Murphy in line to join Ireland squad as Conan ruled out with foot fracture

Joe Schmidt’s squad have been hit with another injury blow.

JORDI MURPHY IS in line to join Ireland’s World Cup squad after Jack Conan was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a fractured foot.

Ulster back row Murphy was withdrawn from his province’s Pro14 fixture last night and while Joe Schmidt insisted Ireland have not made a decision on Conan’s replacement, Murphy now looks set to make his way to Japan.

jack-conan Jack Conan is heading home. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Leinster number eight Conan impressed off the bench against Scotland last weekend but was sporting a moon boot day before Ireland’s shock defeat to Japan, having suffered an injury in training this week.

Schmidt confirmed a foot fracture for Conan at Ecopa Stadium this evening.

“Jack Conan, unfortunately, has a fracture in his foot and he will return home to Ireland tomorrow,” said Schmidt.

The versatile Murphy was unlucky to miss out on making Ireland’s original 31-man World Cup squad but now looks likely to have his opportunity in Japan.

Schmidt may, however, look to bring a second row into his squad, potentially freeing Tadhg Beirne to focus on the back row.

Either way, the loss of Conan is another big blow for Joe Schmidt’s squad after the massive upset defeat to Japan.

With a five-day turnaround to their clash with Russia, it’s likely that Ireland will make wholesale changes to their starting XV.

One man who is unlikely to feature is Rob Kearney, who failed a HIA tonight after coming off with a head injury.

“I just spoke to him in the corridor, he’s got a decent shiner but he’s feeling OK now,” said Schmidt of Kearney.

“He failed his HIA as far as I know, so if he doesn’t pass HIA2 and HIA3, he will have confirmed concussion and that will rule him out of the Russia game.”

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