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O'Mahony isn't a concussion risk: Joe

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony

By Nick Purewal

Joe Schmidt insists Peter O'Mahony is "mad keen" and fully ready to face Japan just six days after a concussion check.

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Jack Conan was meant to start tomorrow's World Cup clash against the tournament hosts in Shizuoka but picked up a foot issue in training yesterday.

O'Mahony has therefore slotted back into the starting line-up, with Ireland fielding the same pack that subdued Scotland 27-3 in Yokohama last weekend.

The Munster and British and Irish Lions flanker failed a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) in Sunday's Scotland clash, but passed all the checks afterwards, did not suffer a concussion - and trained on Tuesday.

And that left head coach Schmidt insisting there is no extra risk in fielding O'Mahony against Japan.

"Pete was mad keen to play, he only played that 25 minutes and unfortunately I think we might have got Pete back out there but we had two HIAs at the same time," said Schmidt.

"And therefore the communication was not as smooth as it normally is.

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"He flew through his HIA two and HIA three which confirms to us that he didn't have a concussion.

"The HIA process is a precautionary process, so that anyone who has a suspected concussion is removed from the field, it doesn't mean they have had a concussion.

"So there's no elevated risk, we don't believe, in selecting Pete; and we've got a super medical staff.

"With Jack Conan, someone just stood on his foot. He is absolutely fine. But it meant that he was sore in training, he didn't train fully.

"Again it's a case of being confident in the squad, and offering an opportunity.

"And I'm sure Jack will be fine to train tomorrow, but again we rolled our sleeves up today and worked hard so we wanted to get that team to have the chance to play."

Joey Carbery is fit again after ankle ligament trouble and takes a seat on the bench.

Rob Kearney and Keith Earls return to the starting XV having missed the Pool A opener against Scotland due to injury, with Ireland making four changes to their starting line-up.

While Bundee Aki also completed all the head injury checks and returned to full training, head coach Schmidt opted not to risk Connacht's battering ram centre, giving Munster's Chris Farrell the nod to start instead.

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