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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Ireland 'hopeful' on Henshaw but Addison pulled for Ulster as precaution

The Leinster man suffered a hamstring injury in training and is due to undergo a scan in Japan today.

JOE SCHMIDT SAYS Ireland are “hopeful” that Robbie Henshaw’s hamstring injury won’t rule him out of the entire World Cup, although he admitted that the centre is likely to miss next weekend’s opening clash with Scotland.

Henshaw pulled up at training in Chiba yesterday and is set for a scan at 2pm today in Japan [6am Irish time].

The versatile Will Addison was withdrawn from the Ulster team for yesterday’s friendly clash with Glasgow Warriors, but Schmidt says that was “precautionary” and Addison is not travelling to Japan at this stage as Ireland await the results of Henshaw’s scan.

robbie-henshaw Henshaw suffered the injury in training in Japan. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Ireland boss says Henshaw has not yet been ruled out of the World Cup.

“I think the fact that he pulled up, he wasn’t accelerating at the time, we’d be hopeful it’s not too bad,” said Schmidt at an Ireland press conference in Chiba today.

“Is it likely to rule him out of this week [against Scotland]? Yeah, you’d have to say it is likely with the fact that he did pull up but we’d be hopeful that it’s not too bad.

“I don’t want to guess when we’ll get the scan this afternoon.” 

Schmidt had previously indicated that Addison – who narrowly missed out on making the 31-man World Cup squad – would be in pole position should any of Ireland’s backs pick up a tournament-ending injury.

Addison remains at home for now, according to Schmidt, but the Ireland boss did ask Ulster head coach Dan McFarland to withdraw Addison from yesterday’s game against Glasgow after he had been set to start at fullback.

“No, he’s not on his way over,” said Schmidt of Addison. “That was precautionary just to make sure that we had fit-and-able cover, should we need a replacement for Robbie.”

With Henshaw set miss out next weekend in Yokohama as Ireland get their World Cup underway against the Scots, Ireland’s midfield will be made up of two of Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose and Chris Farrell.

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Schmidt insisted that Ireland had not made their selection decisions before Henshaw’s hamstring injury, and underlined that he remains hopeful the Athlone man will recover during this World Cup.

“As much as people wrote it into their reports, we have made no decision on who was going to play anywhere for this week,” said Schmidt.

“There are obviously people better informed than I am about who was going to play and where! I can assure you we had made no decisions. It is still quite open.

“We will see what happens with Robbie because if it was just a tightening, it could be cramp, we have travelled a lot.

“We have tried to be fully re-hydrated, fully recovered but if it is more than that and we do have to leave him out this week, we feel we have good cover.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella  / Reports from Chiba

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