Rugby

Fresh Injury Worry For Ireland Ahead Of Italy Clash

Fresh Injury Worry For Ireland Ahead Of Italy Clash

He's been the primary topic of conversation this week and now Jared Payne is once again in the spotlight. However, now it's surrounding what he may not be able to do on the pitch as opposed to what he has been doing.

The Ireland centre was forced to sit out training today with a bruised foot, an injury which could end hopes that he may get a chance to rekindle his centre partnership with Robbie Henshaw against the Italians. Payne's injury is not thought to be overly serious but with the way in which Joe Schmidt has addressed niggly injuries so far this campaign, it seems likely that Payne will have to watch on from the sidelines.

Similarly likely to miss out on Sunday is Rob Kearney who was only able to take part in some light training today. Schmidt confirmed that he was expecting to go into the weekend with a full squad to choose from but nonetheless, the smart money would seem to be on Simon Zebo starting at 15 and one of Darren Cave, Keith Earls or Luke Fitzgerald starting alongside Robbie Henshaw in the centre.

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While the bruised foot may not be too serious it does come at a most unfortunate time for Payne. Criticism of his performances so far have been quite severe and it was hoped that he could show his best form back alongside Henshaw in the centre. With Darren Cave possibly being given an opportunity to impress from the start, the clamour for Payne's exclusion could be given a fresh boost.

Gary Reilly

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