Schmidt hopeful Henry can still play part in series

Schmidt hopeful Henry can still play part in series

Chris Henry training with team-mates this week

By Grainne McGuinness and Shaun Cronin

Chris Henry is hoping to recover in time to take part in the rest of the November internationals according to Joe Schmidt in his post-match interview last night.

Henry had been named as a starter, but was ruled out at the last-minute with Rhys Ruddock taking his place in the starting 15.

Ireland’s coach said a virus was the cause of his absence and the medical team were still checking Henry out.

“He wasn’t well and we believe he’s got a virus,” said Schmidt. “It meant he wasn’t going to be capable of playing.”

“He’s going to be checked out fully and hopefully he’ll be back in camp on Monday evening or Tuesday.”

Schmidt commiserated with Henry on missing out on test rugby for the second year running.

“It’s probably disappointing for Chris,” he said. “This time last year he played the first 30 minutes against Samoa and the limped off with a hamstring injury and missed the rest of the series.”

Schmidt said the back-row had been in a great run of form coming into the series, but also acknowledged how well Ruddock did after being promoted to the starting 15 on short notice.

“He (Chris) played some great stuff for us in the Six Nations,” he said. “But a guy who was on the bench came into the starting 15 and I don’t think you could quibble with what he delivered.”

Schmidt hopeful Henry can still play part in series

“I thought Rhys Ruddock was worth every minute he delivered on the field today.”

Schmidt also echoed the sentiments of Tommy Bowe, who said that while everyone else was writing off Ireland chances because of injury problems, the team and coaching squad never thought that was the case.

It’s funny, I didn’t mention the injuries once,” he said. “I was asked about them a lost, so I responded to questions but never did we say the injuries were going to compromise what we were trying to do.”

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