Joe Schmidt has confirmed that Robbie Henshaw is a doubt for Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland.
It was reported last night that the Leinster centre injured his hamstring in training, which the Ireland Head Coach has described as “tightness”.
“Robbie pulled up with a tightness in his hamstring. He has a scan at 2pm today and that will give us more information” said Schmidt, at the team hotel in Chiba.
“I think the fact that he pulled up - he wasn’t accelerating at the time - means we’d be hopeful it’s not too bad. Is it likely to rule him out of this week? Yeah, you’d have to say it is likely.
“It could be a cramp. We’ve travelled a lot. We’ve tried to be fully rehydrated, fully recovered. But if it is more than that and we do need to leave him out this week, we feel we have good cover.”
Four years ago, news of a Henshaw injury also leaked before Ireland’s opening World Cup game, but Schmidt says this information was always going to be hard to keep under wraps.
“It was inevitable that it would [get out], particularly when I spoke to Will [Addison] and Will was named to start the game and he went onto the bench, and I spoke to Dan McFarland.
“As soon as you make a change like that, when people are watching and keeping an eye on who is playing and who’s not playing, that late change obviously signalled something to someone. We didn’t really try to keep it a big secret because we believed it would surface pretty quickly anyway.”
It was a precautionary measure to stop Addison playing last night, according to Schmidt, rather than the player being en route to Japan.
“No, he’s not on his way over,” Schmidt said.
“That was precautionary. That was just to make sure we had fit and able cover, should we need a replacement for Robbie.”
Schmidt says he won’t select his team for Scotland until Wednesday, confirming that Joey Carbery is set to train fully with the team tomorrow, while Keith Earls is due to train Wednesday and Friday.