Ireland’s preparations for Thursday’s World Cup pool clash with Russia were disrupted before kick-off when Joey Carbery was forced out of Joe Schmidt’s matchday squad.
Fly-half Carbery, selected as the replacement scrum-half on the bench for the Pool A game at Kobe Misaki Stadium, reported irritation in the ankle he injured in Ireland’s opening summer warm-up game against Italy on August 10.
Carbery, 23, made his comeback from that last Saturday as the replacement fly-half in the loss to Japan but afterwards admitted he was not feeling match fit.
The latest setback came following Wednesday’s captain’s run training session, after which it was decided not to risk the Munster star with head coach Schmidt replacing Carbery with Conor Murray, who had originally been earmarked to sit out the game, in which Luke McGrath was selected to start at number nine.
Ireland have been hit with a succession of minor injuries since arriving in Japan on September 12 with Robbie Henshaw pulling up in the first training session with a hamstring problem and not due to make his tournament debut until October 12 in the final pool game against Samoa. Schmidt was also without Rob Kearney (calf) and Keith Earls (knee) for the opening victory over Scotland while Johnny Sexton (thigh) sat out the loss to Japan.
Fly-half Sexton was named captain of the side to face Russia but Ireland were without centre Chris Farrell following a concussion against Japan.