Earls out of Samoa showdown

Mon, 04 Nov 2013 17:33
Keith-earls-ireland-630 Paul-o_connell-shouts Jonathan-sexton-b_i-lions-v
Jonny's a pretty important ingredient for Racing

Utility back Keith Earls has been ruled out of Ireland’s Test against Samoa on Saturday with a knee injury.

Earls is being hampered by patella tendonitis and although he will miss the opening Test of Ireland’s November internationals, he will remain part of the Irish squad for the Tests against Australia and New Zealand.

Paul O'Connell, Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien will take part in Tuesday’s training session and look set to bolster the pack after struggling with injury.     

Flyhalf Jonny Sexton has been passed fit after being rested by Racing Metro in their defeat to Biarritz last Saturday, while Andrew Trimble, Donnacha O'Callaghan and Roger Wilson have rejoined the squad after being released for club duty at the weekend.

Coach Joe Schmidt, ahead of his first game in charge of Ireland, admitted he’s concerned about the high amount of game time Sexton’s had in recent weeks.

"Depth in the club and a reliance on a player is one of the ingredients you've got to put into the mix when you're making those decisions and Jonny's a pretty important ingredient for Racing," Schmidt told the Irish Independent.

"I've watched all their games so far and he's been super for them and so I think there's a degree of reliance on Jonny being there, particularly because Jonathan Wisniewski has been injured.

"Juan Martin Hernandez was away with the Pumas and so for those two reasons they've been massively reliant on Jonny."

Ireland and Samoa are expected to announce their teams on Thursday.