- Henshaw could miss remainder of tournament
- O’Mahony set for 100th cap
- Crucial clash with Scotland for quarter-final spot awaits Ireland
Ireland’s hopes at the Rugby World Cup have taken a hit with Robbie Henshaw being sidelined with a hamstring injury, potentially ending his tournament. The setback marks the second time Henshaw has faced an issue in that area during the competition.
Hamstring problem sidelines Henshaw
Originally selected to feature in Ireland’s opening pool match against Romania, Henshaw was forced to withdraw due to injury. Now, his participation in future games hangs in the balance, ruling him out not only for the crucial pool finale against Scotland but also any potential quarter-final.
Henshaw played a pivotal role coming off the bench in the hard-fought 13-8 victory over South Africa. In light of this, Ireland’s head coach, Andy Farrell, announced that a decision regarding Henshaw’s replacement in the squad would be made after this weekend’s game.
With Henshaw absent, Stuart McCloskey will be on the bench for the crucial match against Scotland. Additionally, Iain Henderson gets the nod at lock over James Ryan, who has been dealing with a hand injury since the win over South Africa.
Another change from the Springboks match sees hooker Dan Sheehan taking over from Ronan Kelleher. Both Henderson and Sheehan made notable impacts coming off the bench in the South Africa encounter.
In a noteworthy milestone, flanker Peter O’Mahony is set to earn his 100th cap in Saturday’s game. He will start in the back row alongside Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris. Back rower Jack Conan is also in line for his first appearance in two months after recovering from foot ligament damage, earning a spot among the replacements.
Despite the triumph against the world champions, Ireland faces a high-stakes scenario in their upcoming Paris contest. A loss without a bonus point would result in a shocking exit from the tournament.
The Irish squad will need to dig deep and regroup to tackle this challenge head-on. If they can secure their spot, a potential quarter-final showdown against New Zealand awaits, promising an electrifying match for fans.
Ireland: Keenan; M Hansen, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; Beirne, Henderson; O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris.
Replacements: Kelleher, Kilcoyne, Bealham, Ryan, Conan, Murray, Crowley, McCloskey
Henshaw’s injury is obviously a blow to Ireland, the centre is capable of making a difference in the starting 15 or from the bench. His potential loss for the remainder of the tournament will affect Ireland’s strength in depth. Bettors need to assess whether this will have a significant impact on Ireland’s chances.
At the time of writing, Ireland are clear favourites to beat Scotland on Saturday with bet365 pricing them at 1/5,with Scotland 9/2 and a draw 28/1.The Irish, ranked number one in the world, are most bookies favourites to win the tournament, along with South Africa.. At the time of writing, Betfred have both the Irish and the Springboks at 3/1, ahead of New Zealand and France, both 7/2.