Ireland look set to be without the services of Robbie Henshaw in the series deciding third Test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The 23-year-old utility back sustained an injury to his knee in the second Test at Ellis Park which South Africa won 32-26 to level the three-match Series 1-1 following a remarkable come back after trailing by 26-10 with just 20 minutes left in the match
This week’s Test in Port Elizabeth will be the series decider as Ireland hope to secure their first ever series win against the Boks in South Africa.
Joe Schmidt confirmed that he will in all likelihood not be seeking to bring in any reinforcements to cover for the injured Henshaw.
Schmidt became the first Ireland coach to win a Test in South Africa when the visitors beat the Springboks by 26-20 at Newlands two weeks ago.
“There are guys on standby so we can go back to them,” Schmidt told the Irish Independant.
“To be honest, if we can cover it internally we probably will at this stage. It’s pretty difficult to get them up to speed and to get them down here is a bit of a mission even.
“They wouldn’t be able to get down probably until the Monday or Tuesday morning depending on flights and then that’s pretty late in the piece to suddenly launch yourself into a Test team.
The New Zealand-born coach believes there are enough options within the squad to cover the void that the Leinster-bound player will leave.
“There are options with Luke Marshall still being in the squad. The first Test was Luke’s first full Test for us for a long time and I thought he did a super job. He’s played a fair bit at 13 this year so he would be one option, as would Jared Payne. He could slip back up into the 13 spot and Tiernan O’Halloran could go to 15. So they’re some of the conundrums we’ll try to sort out .”