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Ireland coach Andy Farrell voices serious concern over James Hume’s participation in rest of New Zealand tour

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The prospects do not look good for injured James Hume

The prospects do not look good for injured James Hume

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The prospects do not look good for injured James Hume

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has admitted it "doesn't look great" for James Hume's Ireland tour with the Ulsterman requiring an MRI scan on his injured groin.

The in-form centre limped out of the side's first game on New Zealand soil against the Maori All Blacks on Wednesday and will await the results before any decision is made on a return home.

"Obviously we're only a few hours after the game so people do tend to wake up pretty sore but it's not looking great for him," said the coach.

Elsewhere, there was better news for Ireland on Cian Healy who appeared to suffer a nasty looking knee injury on Wednesday but is still named on the bench for Saturday's first Test against the All Blacks.

"I think he had a bit more of a scare than anything else," Farrell said of Healy. "He recovered pretty quickly in the changing room after the game.

"He's still a bit sore this morning but he's obviously going through a few protocols now with the rehab but we're going to give him until tomorrow, he's made such improvement. We're optimistic about that."

Any setback for Healy between now and kick-off would likely bring Tom O'Toole onto the bench as tighthead cover with Kieran Treadwell at present the only Ulsterman in the match-day '23'.

Farrell has, as expected, made 14 changes to the experimental side that were well beaten in the opener with winger Keith Earls the only man to start both games.

Peter O'Mahony will start on the blindside flank with Caelan Doris switching to number eight and Jack Conan on the bench but elsewhere it is essentially the side that finished second in the most recent Six Nations.
The first Test kicks off at 8.05am UK time on Saturday and will be played in Eden Park.

Ireland team to play All Blacks – H Keenan; K Earls G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan; P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Replacements: D Heffernan, F Bealham, C Healy, K Treadwell, J Conan, C Murray, J Carbery, B Aki.

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