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Thursday 20 September 2018

Bowe is left to sweat on injury

Ireland's Tommy Bowe is tackled by Samoa's George Pisi. Picture credit: John Dickson / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Tommy Bowe is tackled by Samoa's George Pisi. Picture credit: John Dickson / SPORTSFILE

THE Ireland management is taking a "day-to-day" view on whether Tommy Bowe can recover from "a sore and bruised" leg injury for Saturday's November international against Australia.

Samoa centre George Pisi has been cited for an alleged dangerous tackle on Bowe.

The Northampton player was yellow-carded by referee Steve Walsh following the incident just before half-time in Saturday's clash at the Aviva Stadium.

Pisi faces a disciplinary hearing in London, with an independent three-person panel.

Luke Fitzgerald has been added to the squad, bringing to three the number of Leinster wings in camp beside Fergus McFadden and Dave Kearney.

Another wing, Keith Earls, is out for this week, being slow to heal from tendonitis of the patella, and flanker Chris Henry will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring tear.

The removal of the always honest Henry clears the way for Seán O'Brien to start at seven where he has been imperious this season.

His forwards coach John Plumtree even took time out to draw comparisons with Richie McCaw for his versatility.

"Yeah, your seven is sort of more of a tackler and a poacher, but Seán is a very competent ball runner which makes him able to play any position really in the back row.

"That makes him very valuable. You look at Richie McCaw, those types of players, pretty comfortable in any position in the back row, and Seán looks like he is that type of player as well.

"I think he's always been a good player, you just get more accurate in what you do and a better understanding of what you do. And you get smarter as well."

Ireland tight-head Mike Ross expects Australia to be "more organised, probably more clinical and more difficult to play against" than Samoa.

He preferred to believe what his eyes saw against Italy than the general impression of a nation in turmoil.

"There's a perception out there that Australia are on the wane. I don't agree with that because you look at who they've been losing to," said Ross.

"They've been losing to the Lions, losing to New Zealand and losing to South Africa.

"They're all top teams and, are they third in the world, Australia? That shows you where they are at the moment."

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