Irish count the cost after bruising battle

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 00:54

REACTION: A quartet of key players - including flyhalf Jonathan Sexton - are major injury doubts for Ireland's Test with Australia next weekend.

This news came from coach Joe Schmidt after Saturday's bruising 9-21 defeat against New Zealand.

Schmidt - who guided the Irish to their first ever victory in 29 Test meetings over the world champions a fortnight ago - said Sexton, fullback Rob Kearney, centre Robbie Henshaw and flank CJ Stander will all be assessed with the latter three requiring Head Injury Assessments (HIA).

Ireland lost Sexton, to a hamstring problem, and both Henshaw and Stander in the first half-an-hour although Kearney played through.

"Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw and CJ Stander will all undergo HIA," said Schmidt.

"Jonathan Sexton has a hamstring issue and we will have an update on his situation either on Sunday or Monday.

"It was a pretty physical encounter."

The All Blacks didn't escape unscathed either with fullback Ben Smith and backrow forward Sam Cane doubts for their Test with France next Saturday.

"Ben has a compound fracture of a finger and Sam has a bad ankle," said coach Steve Hansen.

Agence France-Presse