HAMMER BLOW as key duo ruled out of Ireland’s second Test against Springboks

David Skippers
Dan Sheehan and Craig Casey image 2024.jpg

Ireland duo Dan Sheehan (hooker) and Craig Casey (scrum-half).

Ireland have been dealt a double blow ahead of this weekend’s second Test with South Africa after it was confirmed that star hooker Dan Sheehan and scrum-half Craig Casey will miss the clash due to injury.

Both sustained their injuries during the opening Test in Pretoria on Saturday, which South Africa won 27-20.

Sheehan was forced off at half-time because of a knee injury following a tackle from Bok second-row Eben Etzebeth while Casey left the field on a stretcher due to concussion after taking a big hit from former Munster team-mate RG Snyman in the game’s latter stages.

Ulster and Connacht duo called up

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) have called up uncapped Ulster scrum-half Nathan Doak and Connacht’s veteran hooker Dave Heffernan as replacements for the injured duo.

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“Following medical assessments after Saturday’s opening Test, the Ireland management can confirm that neither Craig Casey (concussion) nor Dan Sheehan (left knee) will play any further part in the South African series which concludes next Saturday in Durban,” read an IRFU statement.

“Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan and Ulster scrum-half Nathan Doak have been called up and the duo have linked up with the squad in Durban.”

Chance for Conor Murray

Casey’s Munster club-mate Conor Murray is set to be elevated to Ireland‘s run-on side, while Connacht’s Caolin Blade is set to take Murray’s place as the replacement scrum-half.

Meanwhile, Ronan Kelleher, who replaced Sheehan during Saturday’s clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, is expected to be the starting hooker in Durban, while Ulster’s Rob Herring is also part of the travelling squad.

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