Tuesday 16 July 2019

Joe Schmidt on Paul O’Connell injury: It doesn’t look great - Next 24 hours crucial

Ireland's Paul O'Connell receives treatment after sustaining an injury
Ireland's Paul O'Connell receives treatment after sustaining an injury

Declan Whooley

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted that team captain Paul O’Connell is a major doubt for the rest of the World Cup and said the next 24 hours is crucial.

Ireland saw off France to top the pool with a 24-9 victory at the Millennium Stadium to set-up a last eight clash with Argentina, but injuries to key players could have a serious impact on the team’s World Cup chances.

Having lost Jonathan Sexton after 25 minutes, there were anxious Irish faces as team captain Paul O’Connell left the field on a stretcher at half-time, while Peter O’Mahony departed after the break with a knee injury.

The main focus will be on O’Connell, who was initially given oxygen before departing the scene.

“It doesn’t look great to be honest. That would be a big blow for us,” he conceded.

“We’re going to have to wait and see. We won’t be able to get him scanned until tomorrow and we’ll know more by Tuesday.

Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates at the end of the match
Reuters / Rebecca Naden
Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates at the end of the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Conor Murray celebrates scoring their second try Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
**alternative crop** France's Morgan Parra (right) is tackled by Ireland's Jack McGrath and is judged to make a high tackle during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Ireland's Rory Best (right) in action during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
France players form a group huddle during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Ian Madigan celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Jamie Heaslip celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
France's Yoann Maestri and Ireland's Devin Toner compete for a line out during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Ireland supporters show their support in the stands during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 France's Louis Picamoles looks dejected after the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic
Ireland supporters show their support in the stands during the Rugby World Cup match at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 11, 2015. See PA story RUGBYU France. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association without RWCL permission. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of Section 6 of RWC 2015 T&Cs at: http://bit.ly/1MPElTL Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further info.
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 France's Thierry Dusautoir looks dejected after the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 France's Thierry Dusautoir looks dejected after the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and Tommy Bowe celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 France applaud fans after the game Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Conor Murray celebrates scoring their second try Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Ian Madigan and Devin Toner celebrate after the match Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne Livepic
Rugby Union - France v Ireland - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool D - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 11/10/15 Ireland's Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Rebecca Naden Livepic
Ireland's scrum half Conor Murray is congratulated by team-mates after scoring their second try during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
Ireland's lock Iain Henderson celebrates with team-mates after winning the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
Rob Kearney scores the first try for Ireland
11 October 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters before the start of the game. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Poland v Republic of Ireland. Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Paul O'Connell receives treatment after sustaining an injury

“It looks like an upper hamstring. He was in over the ball and just got hit down and through. As a result he felt that his hamstring came under real pressure and he wasn’t able to continue after that.

“For him not to get up and into the defensive line when we were under pressure. That’s why it doesn’t augur well for next week.

“You just never say never with Paul, so we’re just going to cross our fingers for the next 24 hours.”

Schmidt also gave updates on Sexton and O’Mahony.

“I’m not sure at the moment [Sexton], it might have been an abductor, but again we’re going to have to look at the damage.

“Hopefully Pete’s not too bad, again his might have been a knee twist. I have only seen the replay and I haven’t spoken to Pete yet.”

Despite the injury setbacks, the former Leinster coach paid tribute to the resilience shown by his side in what was a superb collective performance.

“I’m incredibly proud of the character shown. We clawed our way forward, we clung on and managed to score those two second half tries which were really the difference.”

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