Rugby World Cup: Ireland come out of South Africa epic with clean bill of health

Scrum coach John Fogarty reports no obvious injuries after 13-8 win over Springboks

Ireland are likely to have a full squad of 33 players from which to choose for their concluding Rugby World Cup Pool B game against Scotland in Paris next Saturday week.

Josh van der Flier needed treatment twice on his right hand in the first-half, while both Garry Ringrose and Johnny Sexton took a fair amount of buffeting from the Springboks’ in Ireland’s epic 13-8 win amid a sea of green at a vibrant Stade de France on Saturday night.

“Josh is good,” confirmed Irish scrum coach John Fogarty on Sunday morning. “There are no obvious injuries at the moment. We managed to come out of what was a really physical game with a full bill of health. There’s medicals on now, but at this moment in time there’s no obvious injuries.”

Van der Flier also had his hand stood upon by the Springboks’ replacement prop Ox Nche although Fogarty was unaware of this second-half incident.


“I wasn’t aware of a stamping,” said Fogarty. “I’m sure World Rugby will be looking across everything, referees will be looking across everything. I haven’t heard anything from our end. The disciplinary board will look at it. I’m sure World Rugby are all over those bits.”

The squad and management will take a few well-earned days off in France with their families after extending Ireland’s unprecedented winning run to 16 matches before regrouping on Wednesday evening in Tours.

Having been retained with the squad despite being sidelined since the opening warm-up win over Italy due to a foot injury, the likelihood is that Jack Conan will feature against Scotland.

“Jack had a brilliant week,” said Fogarty. “We’ve been very, very lucky with the health of the squad and the return of those players to full training has been brilliant, they’re obviously as returning players being managed but right now we look like we’ll be training with a full deck when we return to training, which is great.”

As for the post-match celebrations, Fogarty said: “It is important, isn’t it, to make sure we’re aware that that was a big win and we’re obviously delighted with it.

“We took time with each other, nothing too mad at all. The dressing-room is generally the best craic, you’re there together and there’s no outside distractions. There’s a few moments there where I made it around to all the front-rows and discussed who they played against, how they got on.

“We enjoyed that time together in the dressing-room. It’s a late kick-off, we got back to the hotel around 1am so we didn’t do the dog on it, but we enjoyed each other’s company.”

Ireland are in pole position in Pool B with 14 points from a possible 15, and can take huge belief from their resilient win over the world champions.

“We’re very proud of the result, we’re very proud of the performance, but we’re very, very aware that that’s a pool game, we’ve got Scotland next and we’ve got big tests on the horizon,” said Fogarty.

“So, we’re delighted at the moment where we are. Recovery now becomes the most important thing for us. We can get so much gains from that game if we properly recover, so I think that’s the focus right now, to make sure we understand that what we’ve done well but make sure we understand that we freshen up now.

“We’ve got a few days with family which is so important. I can’t wait to see my wife and kids. I’m sick of looking at the boys at this stage. But I think that’s the most important thing right now. Take the positives from the game, we’ll certainly look at things we need to improve on but we need to get the recovery in now because Scotland are going to be coming.”

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times