Devastating news for Jordi Murphy as Joe Schmidt calls up six players for Canada and Paddy Jackson returns
Published 07/11/2016 | 17:16
Jordi Murphy may not play again this season after Ireland rugby manager Mick Kearney confirmed the suspected ACL damage to his left leg which will rule him out of action for "six to nine months."
Ireland's opening try-scorer in the historic weekend win against the All Blacks in Chicago received the dreaded news shortly after Ireland settled at their Carton House this morning following their 6am arrival at Dublin Airport.
However, Jonathan Sexton should be fit to face the All Blacks in the hugely anticipated re-match in a fortnight's time at the Aviva Stadium after Kearney confirmed the out-half had been suffering cramp before his second-half arrival after several weeks of limited game-time.
Six players - Connacht's uncapped wing Niyi Adeolokun and fellow back three player Tiernan O'Halloran, Munster pack duo, prop Dave Kilcoyne and back-row Jack O'Donoghue along with another uncapped colleague, wing Darren Sweetnam and Leinster's uncapped flanker Dan Leavy have been added to the squad which will now prepare for a clash with Canada this Saturday. Paddy Jackson returns to the squad.
The squad had an understandable rest day as they returned to Dublin as the magnitude of the weekend's achievement in Chicago finally threatens to sink in.
"It feels pretty special," said wing Andrew Trimble. "It still hasn't fully sunk in what we managed to achieve. We're still kind of pitching ourselves. Myself and Rory Best we're playing a few holes of golf and still trying to come to terms with just how big an occasion it was.
"The performance, the atmosphere at the game, Chicago in general. It as a really special week and a really special weekend for everyone involved.
"So we are trying to enjoy it for what it is and then trying to get back to a bit of normality and another game this weekend."
Ireland will now be under pressure to back up their success when New Zealand come gunning for revenge on Saturday week and Trimble is expecting a "blacklash."
"You can't took any further forward then the weekend ahead of you but I t might be in the back of your mind a little bit," Trimble conceded.
"It would be tempting and a mistake to get carried away and think we’re better than we are. The only reason we were good enough to beat the All Blacks at the weekend was because we did everything.
"We left no stone unturned, fully bought into the game-plan, looked into the set-piece, our shape, our breakdown, everything was looked at.
"We did so much homework for the game. If we do all those things then we know how good we can be. I think there’s an element of that, but we can’t just turn up and think we’re going to be the same team again.
"We have to do as much hard work as we did and do more hard work because NZ are going to produce a big performance and there’s going to be a big backlash."