Defeated Ireland count their wounded

Date published: February 13 2016

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Ireland have been left counting their injured players after their 10-9 Six Nations loss to France in Paris on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt's charges were boosted by the return of flanker Sean O'Brien and full-back Rob Kearney, but Schmidt revealed at the post-match press conference that O'Brien left the field with a hamstring injury, which could rule him out of Ireland's next match against England at Twickenham.

Lock Mike McCarthy appeared to have suffered concussion and had to leave the field on a stretcher.

"He will now have to follow a protocol to see if he can be ready in two weeks," said Schmidt.

Left wing Dave Kearney was also forced off with a shoulder injury while fly-half Johnny Sexton was targeted by the French players throughout.

"Johnny again knows what he's gonna get and he was pretty knocked around," added Schmidt.

The coach said the loss – their first to France in five years – was hard to take and said the conditions also played its part in his side's downfall. 

"We are hugely disappointed. We led 9-3 for so long and we had a couple of opportunities in the first half," added Schimdt. 

"But the conditions were tough and it was not easy to maintain the position and it was difficult to hold on to a slippery ball.

France's physicality seemed to surprise Ireland and les Bleus could easily have received a couple of yellow cards after some over robust play.

"At one stage we asked the referee (Jaco Peyper) how many attacking penalties are we going to get without further sanctions and he said he was keeping an eye on it, but there is a fine line between asking and badgering the referee," said Ireland captain Rory Best.

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