The Ireland head coach is confident all three will be fit and available for selection next week.
Ryan Bailey reports from the Aviva Stadium
THE HEADLINES FROM Joe Schmidt’s post-match press conference; Robbie Henshaw pulled up with a tight hamstring in the warmup, Kieran Marmion and Bundee Aki both rolled their ankle, and Rob Kearney and Garry Ringrose are due to return to full team training on Monday.
In addition, Sean O’Brien — the luckless Sean O’Brien — will need an operation on his broken right arm and it will be up to Conor Murray as to whether he’ll be involved against the All Blacks next week.
Henshaw, named to start at outside centre against the Pumas, was a late withdrawal and was replaced impressively by Will Addison, who was drafted into the starting XV at the last minute for his first Test start.
The initial prognosis on Henshaw is positive — he was withdrawn as a precaution and while the Leinster centre will be monitored in the coming days, Schmidt is hopeful of his availability for New Zealand.
“Robbie, his hamstring tightened during the warmup and we’re going to have a look at it and we’ll know more over the next few days,” the Kiwi said.
“We are hopeful because we didn’t push him. We could have tried to see how he went on the pitch but it was right towards the end of warm up and we just felt that it would a two-fold risk: one, would he do more damage?
As for Marmion, who opened Ireland’s account with a fourth international try and produced a sharp and tidy performance, Schmidt is ‘relatively confident’ the Connacht nine will come through and be available for selection for the third game of the November series.
The 26-year-old suffered the injury during the second half and after trying to play on, was replaced in the 57th minute by Luke McGrath, while Aki also rolled his ankle in the closing stages of the Test against the Pumas.
“If you watch on, he does play on and we’d be very hopeful he’ll be fine,” Schmidt said of Marmion, who is the front-runner to start against the All Blacks should Murray’s miraculous comeback not materialise.
“He’ll probably elevate his ankle for the next 24-48 hours and get a bit of ice on it but we’d be relatively confident.”
On Aki, who was outstanding in midfield again, Schmidt added: “He would be another stubborn man in the best sense of the word. He was actually walking problem-free, not limping at all in the changing room just there.
“Again you’d be pretty confident he’ll be okay but the next 24-48 hours will give us a better insight into how soon he’ll be able to train.”
Both Kearney [shoulder]and Ringrose [hip]are on course to resume training at Carton House on Monday after missing Saturday’s game through injury, further bolstering Ireland ahead of their renewal with Steve Hansen’s charges.
“They’re going really well. Our prediction is they’ll train fully on Monday. With that prediction, that puts them into the mix for sure and in the context of some guys who are little bit doubtful, that’s really important for us.”
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