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Sunday 17 December 2017

Heaslip big worry for Schmidt: Back injury makes No 8 doubt for showdown with England

Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip leaves the pitch.
Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip leaves the pitch.
Joe Schmidt
Jamie Heaslip

Coach Joe Schmidt will wait on the results of a scan on Jamie Heaslip's lower back and on news about whether France lock Pascal Pape will be cited for the ugly incident.

Ireland's iron man has been hit with a heavy blow that had him hobbling off the Aviva Stadium sod an hour into the action on Saturday evening.

At the time, Schmidt described Heaslip as "very uncomfortable" and the number eight must rank as Ireland's most obvious injury doubt ahead of Sunday week's showdown against England in Dublin.

It follows hot on the heels of the shoulder injury that restricted Heaslip's involvement for Leinster in The Champions Cup and kept him out of the Italy match in Rome.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has defended Pape's action as accidental rather than intentional. "When you watch the images of the incident I don't think you can say it was deliberate," he said.

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