Joe Schmidt: Keith Earls a doubt for France game due to possible concussion

Joe Schmidt: Keith Earls a doubt for France game due to possible concussion
7 February 2016; Keith Earls, Ireland, leaves the pitch with an injury. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship 2016, Ireland v Wales. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

Keith Earls could miss at least the next game of the Six Nations after suffering a head injury during Ireland’s draw with Wales.

Earls left the field with minutes left in the game and he and Tommy O’Donnell were both taken for Head Injury Assessments (HIA).

Initially it appeared Earls had passed his, but a stumble shortly afterwards put medics on alert.

In his post-match interview head coach Joe Schmidt described him as a “doubt" for next week’s game, against France in Paris.

The Munster flyer must now go through the return to play protocols to prove his fitness for Ireland’s Stade de France match in Paris on Saturday.

“Keith, I think he has probably suffered a concussion,” Schmidt said. “I don’t know the full story.

“I think he passed his HIA but he may have staggered and therefore he would be considered to have had a concussive impact.

“That would certainly put him in doubt for next weekend.”

O’Donnell passed his HIA without suffering any ill-effects while fly-half Johnny Sexton avoided serious injury despite suffering a “sore” bang to his chest.

“Johnny is sore without a doubt, but I was just talking to Jonathan Davies in the corridor and he’s sore too.

“There are definitely a few sore bodies after a game like that.”

Ireland boss Schmidt expects to have full-back Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien available for selection to face France after both Leinster stars missed the Wales draw with hamstring problems.

“Sean could potentially have gone onto the pitch today,” confirming that Rob Kearney and O’Brien should be fit for France.

“But we also know that would have been an exacerbative risk.

“But I thought the guys who stepped into position did really well.”

No team has ever won the Six Nations with a draw en route, but Ireland boss Schmidt still believes his side can take the title.

Ireland would set new precedent with a third consecutive Six Nations crown in any case, and Schmidt said his players can ill afford to be distracted by thoughts of glory.

“I can see why that stat exists, because it’s such a tough competition,” said Schmidt.

“It’s one of a number of worrying things that we’ve got to overcome.

“It won’t affect our recovery and our preparation to face France.

“It will be a monumental task to compete with France.”

More on this topic

Conor O'Shea: Joe Marler 'not in any way, shape or form racist'Conor O'Shea: Joe Marler "not in any way, shape or form racist"

World Rugby step-in to investigate Joe Marler verbal abuseWorld Rugby step-in to investigate Joe Marler verbal abuse

CJ Stander: Ireland 'written off and categorised as underdogs' for tour of South AfricaCJ Stander: Ireland 'written off and categorised as underdogs' for tour of South Africa

Tommy O'Donnell: Rory is the best man for Irish captaincyTommy O'Donnell: Rory is the best man for Irish captaincy

More in this Section

Robbie Henshaw's World Cup is NOT over, but he is not expected to face ScotlandRobbie Henshaw's World Cup is NOT over, but he is not expected to face Scotland

Antonio Brown scores on New England Patriots debut overshadowed by rape accusationAntonio Brown scores on New England Patriots debut overshadowed by rape accusation

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

The scary bit is that the champs are far from finishedThe scary bit is that the champs are far from finished


Lifestyle

It still surprises me as I am achingly private and do not enjoy being at the centre of attention.This Much I Know: Actor Aislin McGuckin

Bride Geraldine O’Donovan felt as wonderful as she looked on her big day — knowing she was supporting a cause close to her heart as she donned her wedding gown.Wedding on the Week: Supporting a cause close to their hearts

I did my Leaving Cert in June and have just started college this week, so my school experience is extremely fresh in my memory. I went to Davis College in Mallow and it was a fantastic experience. I was the loud obnoxious child at the back of the classroom from day one. I had to (and still do, by the way) have an opinion on everything.Stand up and be counted : The Young Offender's Demi Isaac Oviawe on college and school life

When I was in secondary school I started working part-time as a waitress and I suppose I caught the hospitality bug back then.You've been served: General manager at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa Caitriona O’Keeffe

More From The Irish Examiner