Johnny Sexton appears to have been substituted at half-time of Ireland’s World Cup clash with Russia due to an injury concern.
The fly-half is Ireland’s talisman, but has suffered from a string of injuries and concussion woes in recent years.
Sexton missed Ireland’s defeat to Japan with a thigh injury, an issue he picked up against Scotland in Ireland’s first game of the World Cup.
The Irish were flying against Russia, scoring three tries in the first half, but fans were worried to see Sexton not emerge after the break.
Jack Carty stepped in to replace Sexton, as he did against Japan, and Ireland managed to get the bonus point try in the second half.
But Sexton was seen icing his thigh on the bench and it seems the 34-year-old has re-aggravated his previous injury.
His withdrawal could also be a precaution, should Sexton have felt a problem in his thigh again.
Ireland also lost Jordi Murphy to injury in the first half against Russia.
Sexton’s injury is another blow to Ireland who lost their back-up fly-half Joey Carbery to an ankle problem earlier on Thursday.
Carbery is struggling to shake off an ankle injury he picked up during Ireland’s World Cup warm-up games and Ireland could be without both kickers for their final group game next Saturday.
Ireland are fighting to finish top of Pool A, despite suffering a shock defeat to Japan in their second game.
Japan are in pole position to claim top spot, but the Irish will be hoping the host nation slip up in their final matches.
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