Blow for Ireland as fractured foot rules Jared Payne out of World Cup
Joe Schmidt has been dealt a huge blow with the news that Jared Payne will take no further part in the Rugby World Cup after scans revealed a foot fracture.
Payne has been Ireland’s first choice outside centre since the retirement of Brian O’Driscoll, but a bruised foot meant his place for tomorrow’s showdown with France went to Keith Earls.
It had been hoped that Payne would be fit for the quarter-final stage, but following discomfort in training on Wednesday, the Ulster back was sent for further scans which revealed a foot fracture.
The IRFU says a decision on a replacement will not be made until after Sunday's fixture at the Millennium Stadium.
Speaking yesterday on Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme, Brian O’Driscoll admitted that loss Payne ahead of the French game was a significant loss, with Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw given the task of keeping French pair Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastareaud under wraps.
“It is a concern for a number of reasons,” O’Driscoll admitted when asked about the inexperienced midfield pairing of Earls and Henshaw.
“Obviously they have very little experience together. I think as well as Earlsy has played in the World Cup so far, he has been a try machine for us, he has been at his best on the wing. He had an OK game last week , not fantastic game, not a poor game. I think defensively he was OK.
“I think he is far superior on the wing, he has a little more time to make his read defensively. The explosiveness he has, he is able to create a little more from the wing.
“That was the one disappointment, not seeing Payne in the team sheet.”