Cian Healy faces race to prove fitness ahead of All Blacks match

Andy Farrell stated Cian Healy’s damage was “extra of a scare than the rest” after the prop was a shock inclusion in Ireland’s squad for Saturday’s collection opener towards New Zealand.

Healy’s future participation within the three-Test tour appeared in severe doubt after he twisted awkwardly throughout Wednesday’s warm-up defeat to the Maori All Blacks and left the pitch on a medical cart.

But the 34-year-old has recovered sufficiently to be chosen among the many replacements for this weekend’s conflict with the All Blacks in Auckland.

Andy Farrell and Bundee Aki on the loss to Maori All Blacks | Ireland post-match press convention

Head coach Farrell, whose replace on centre James Hume was much less constructive, will give his most-capped participant time to show his health.

“I feel he had a bit extra of a scare than the rest,” Farrell stated of Healy. “He recovered fairly shortly within the altering room after the sport.

“He’s nonetheless a bit sore this morning however he’s clearly going by means of a number of protocols now with the rehab however we’re going to provide him till tomorrow, he’s made such enchancment. We’re optimistic about that.”

Despite the reassuring information concerning Healy, the prognosis for in-form centre James Hume – who picked up a groin challenge in midweek – was far much less constructive as he awaits scan outcomes.

“Obviously we’re just a few hours after the sport so folks do are inclined to get up fairly sore nevertheless it’s not wanting nice for him,” Farrell stated of Hume.

After an experimental line-up misplaced 32-17 to the Maoris, Farrell has unsurprisingly introduced again his senior gamers for the Test opener at a sold-out Eden Park.

Fly-half Johnny Sexton will captain the facet, whereas proper wing Keith Earls is the one participant to retain a beginning place from the reverse in Hamilton.

Andrew Porter, hooker Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong will pack down within the entrance row, forward of locks Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan, with Peter O’Mahony and Josh Van Der Flier both facet of Caelan Doris within the again row.

Sexton can be partnered by New Zealand-born Jamison Gibson-Park within the half-back positions, whereas one other native Kiwi, James Lowe, can be on the left wing.

Midfield duo Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose, plus full-back Hugo Keenan, full an skilled beginning XV.

Ireland have by no means gained away to New Zealand and Farrell is braced for a backlash after a surprising 29-20 autumn victory over the three-time world champions in Dublin.

“We know what’s coming and what’s going to be ok and what’s not going to be ok,” he stated.

“We anticipate them to be at their finest. We clearly have a say in that, how we assault the sport ourselves.

“I do know they’ve one or two accidents and so have we however, on the similar time, they may choose 4 groups in New Zealand and they’d be unbelievably arduous to compete towards.

“We’re underneath no illusions of what we’re up towards. Any kind of efficiency that we’ve had earlier than the place we’ve managed to recover from the road, that gained’t do that weekend, I’m certain about that.”

Healy, who has gained 116 Test caps, can be joined on the bench by Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery and Bundee Aki.

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