Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

O'Connell's Tournament - ANDTEST Career - Over

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

O'Connell's Tournament - ANDTEST Career - Over

Article excerpt

IRELAND must face up to losing twin enforcers Peter O'Mahony and Paul O'Connell from their World Cup campaign.

The staggering collateral damage from Sunday's superlative 24-9 win over France could see as many as three fresh faces join Ireland's World Cup squad as injury replacements.

O'Mahony flew home to Cork yesterday after suffering knee ligament damage, to be replaced by Leinster's Rhys Ruddock, while O'Connell awaited confirmation both his tournament and Test career were over. Ireland captain O'Connell spent Sunday night in hospital with a "significant hamstring injury", full-back Rob Kearney branding his departure a "monumental loss".

"Paul O'Connell appears to have suffered a significant hamstring injury and was hospitalised overnight. He's having scans later today to clarify the extent of the injury," team boss Mick Kearney said yesterday.

"Peter O'Mahony has suffered a knee ligament injury and is returning to Dublin today for specialist opinion and will take no further part in the tournament. Johnny Sexton suffered a groin injury, initial clinical assessment is encouraging and we await scanning later today.

"After an incredibly physical encounter a host of players are reporting bumps and soreness and will have to be managed, but nothing more serious than that.

"As soon as we have more clarity on the injury front we will be in a position to make decisions on replacement players. The coaches did meet this morning and discuss a number of different options."

Ireland could also receive further bad news ahead of their quarter-final with Argentina in Cardiff on Sunday.

Flanker Sean O'Brien is expected to be cited for an apparent punch to the ribs on France lock Pascal Pape, and could miss the last-eight match.

Ireland are yet to name a replacement for centre Jared Payne, but started their cavalry call by adding 24-year-old Ruddock to their ranks to offset the loss of O'Mahony.

Andrew Trimble is in the frame to slot in for Payne, ruled out with a fractured foot, while Dan Tuohy could be lined up to slot in for O'Connell - whose Test career appears over after 108 caps. The 35-year-old was due to retire from the Test arena at the end of the competition, but the severity of his injury will surely accelerate that process. …

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