Ireland full back Rob Kearney could miss Ireland’s crucial World Cup opener against Scotland. The Louth man picked up a calf injury while training on Monday and gives Joe Schmidt a further selection headache ahead of the opener.
The injury news doesn’t look to promising for Ireland with Robbie Henshaw very likely to miss the Scotland game according to scrum coach Greg Feek. If Kearney was to miss the game it would open the door for Leinster’s Jordan Larmour or Munster’s Andrew Conway to slot in and start at full back.
Schmidt remains unsure of what his XV is but I am sure he knows at least 11 or 12 of the starting players already. Personally, I would go with a front row of Healy , Best and Furlong, the second row would be Iain Henderson and James Ryan. I would go with Peter O’Mahony, Josh Van Der Flier and CJ Stander in the back row. I expect Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton to continue their partnership. In the backs, I don’t see Joe risking Kearney if he isn’t fit, therefore I would give the nod to Andrew Conway at full back, on the wings Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale are almost certain to start. I would select Chris Farrell and Bundee Aki, two powerful ball carriers that will be needed against the Scots.
Ireland face Scotland at 8.45 am on Sunday morning, before they play the tournament hosts Japan at 8.15 on Saturday 28th, Russia on the 3rd of October before completing the group stages with a game against Samoa on Saturday 12th of October.