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Head coach Andy Farrell plays down Irish injuries after ‘clunky’ win over Italy

Andy Farrell, the Ireland head coach, has addressed concerns regarding injuries suffered by three of his players during their World Cup warm-up triumph over Italy. Jack Conan, the number eight, had a foot injury in the first half and was seen wearing a protective boot. Full-back Jimmy O’Brien had a shoulder issue, and scrum-half Craig Casey experienced a tight back causing hamstring cramps. However, Farrell expressed optimism, stating that the injuries don’t appear to be serious.

Despite the 33-17 victory in Dublin, Ireland’s performance was a bit uneven, and Farrell acknowledged that the team didn’t fully convince, despite the comfortable scoreline. The Grand Slam winners were captained by Ulster’s Iain Henderson and had a notable performance from Caelan Doris, who received the man-of-the-match award after scoring two tries. Dave Kilcoyne, Stuart McCloskey, and replacement Cian Healy also contributed to the scoresheet.

Looking ahead to the World Cup in France, starting in September, Farrell intends to reduce the current 42-man squad to 33. The match against Italy was the first of three World Cup warm-up games, with upcoming meetings against England and Samoa.

Head coach Andy Farrell plays down Irish injuries after ‘clunky’ win over Italy

During the match, Jacob Stockdale made his return to the Ireland team after two years, and Farrell had positive words for the winger’s performance, noting that while there were some impressive aspects, there were also areas he can improve upon. Overall, Farrell is pleased with the victory but acknowledges that the team needs to work on their patience and conversion of opportunities.

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