Ireland: Johnny Sexton & Robbie Henshaw to miss Australia game

Johnny Sexton makes his feeling clear after Beauden Barrett scores a try for New Zealand in Dublin
Johnny Sexton points an accusatory finger after Beauden Barrett scores a try for New Zealand during their win Dublin

Ireland pair Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw have been ruled out of Saturday's game against Australia in Dublin because of injury.

Fly-half Sexton picked up a 'minor' hamstring injury in the bruising weekend defeat by New Zealand while centre Henshaw suffered concussion.

Rob Kearney and CJ Stander also sustained concussion and are doubtful.

Ireland have added Ulster centre Stuart Olding and Munster's Rory Scannell to the squad as cover.

Henshaw "was knocked unconscious by a shoulder contact to his jaw" following a tackle by New Zealand flanker Sam Cane and had to be carried off with his neck in a brace after only 10 minutes.

Robbie Henshaw's neck was put in a brace before he was taken off
Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw was forced off early on after a controversial high challenge by Sam Cane

All Blacks duo cited

Cane, and team-mate Malakai Fekitoa, were cited after the game and face disciplinary hearings on Tuesday for "allegedly dangerous tackles".

Sexton was forced off soon after Henshaw as Ireland suffered a 21-9 loss two weeks after they beat the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years.

Full-back Kearney developed concussive symptoms after the match and he will follow the return to play protocols along with Stander with a view to deciding their involvement against the Wallabies.

Simon Zebo (cramp) and Tadhg Furlong (dead leg) are expected to recover in time to face Michael Cheika's side.

Bangs to the head 'disappointing' - Ireland manager

Ireland team manager Mick Kearney described the number of "tackles and bangs around the head" to the side's players during the game as "disappointing".

An edict issued by World Rugby immediately before the Autumn Internationals called on referees to be strict against tackles and strikes above the shoulders, and to punish offenders severely.

"World Rugby had said if these incidents occur then you are liable to a red card, possibly. So that obviously didn't happen at the weekend," added Kearney.

Australia have won all three matches on their northern hemisphere tour, edging out Scotland and France following a comfortable victory over Wales.

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