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Dublin: 1°C Friday 5 March 2021

Ireland to assess Earls after Munster winger pulls up against Wales

Joe Schmidt said the 31-year-old was ‘walking around okay’ after being forced off this afternoon.

A FITTING SEND-OFF in more ways than one, although the main blemish on an excellent afternoon’s work for Ireland was the sight of Keith Earls with his head in his hands as he lay on the turf.

The Munster winger would eventually pick himself up and limp off, but there was immediate concern for Earls’ fitness as he pulled up just 53 minutes into his first appearance of this World Cup period. 

keith-earls-down-injured Earls receives attention from Ireland physio Colm Fuller. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Earls, who had been held back by Ireland during pre-season due to tendonitis in his knee, had an icepack on his left quad as he watched the rest of the game on the bench, while Joe Schmidt confirmed afterwards that the 31-year-old was ‘walking around okay.’

The Ireland medical team will assess Earls in the next 24 hours, but Schmidt moved to allay any initial fears by saying the winger could have played on but they were not prepared to take any risks just four days ahead of the team’s departure for Japan.  

“He’s walking around okay,” Schmidt said in his post-match press conference.

“Those sorts of things, you’ve just to wait and see if it’s okay tomorrow. Potentially he could have played on, he feels like he could have, but no way in a game like that are you going to keep someone on.”

When asked what the issue is, Schmidt continued: “His quad, whether it is a whack in the quad or just above the knee, he was uncomfortable. We’ll get more info tomorrow.”

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The Ireland head coach also confirmed Cian Healy was withdrawn at half-time after failing a Head Injury Assessment.  

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Ryan Bailey  / Reports from the Aviva Stadium

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