Ireland get QUADRUPLE injury boost ahead of second All Blacks Test

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Ireland will be boosted by the return to training of Rob Herring, Harry Byrne, Mack Hansen and Finlay Bealham ahead of the second Test against New Zealand next Saturday.

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Andy Farrell’s squad have been struck by a number of injuries and absences on their tour, but in some good news, captain Johnny Sexton is expected to be fit for next weekend’s match in Dunedin as he undergoes his third and final head injury (HIA) assessment on Monday.

Sexton left the field in the first Test at Eden Park in Auckland for an HIA test, but failed that procedure.

Ireland suffered a heavy first Test defeat

After losing 32-17 to the Maori All Blacks in midweek, Ireland fell to a 42-19 defeat against the All Blacks in the first Test, but were impressive at times and the final scoreline flattered the hosts to a degree.

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Prop Jeremy Loughman and Dave Heffernan are currently following 12-day return to play protocols after concussion but fellow hooker Herring and flyhalf Byrne are back after knocks while winger Hansen has completed his period of Covid-19 isolation and prop Bealham will do so later in the week.

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Centre Stuart McCloskey arrives in New Zealand on Monday, following Ed Byrne who flew in on Saturday following a tour-ending groin injury to James Hume.

Kick-off at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for the second Test on Saturday, 9 July is at 09:05 (SA time).

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