Jacob Stockdale’s chances of staying top of the standby list for Ireland’s World Cup squad have been hamstrung – literally.
It’s understood the injury that saw him leave the field in the warm-up game against Samoa two weeks ago was a torn hamstring, leaving him at least another fortnight away from fitness. It’s understood he has not trained with Ulster since his return from Ireland camp.
Aside from Jimmy O’Brien – an original selection in Andy Farrell’s squad as back up to Hugo Keenan – Stockdale was the best candidate with a depth of experience across the back three.
Munster’s Calvin Nash is now probably the most likely option if injury hits an outside back. If that comes to pass, it would complete a remarkable 12 months for Nash, starting with the Emerging Ireland tour to South Africa, then a United Rugby Championship medal with Munster and culminating with a senior Ireland cap in the warm-up against Italy last month.
Nash featured for Munster against Leinster in a friendly in Musgrave Park last Friday night, as did Leinster’s Jordan Larmour. However, Larmour – a notable omission from the preliminary Ireland squad of 42 – went over on his ankle after 20 minutes, although he trained with Leinster today and is expected to be fit for their friendly with Ulster in Navan on Friday week.
Andrew Conway also started that game having missed all of last season with knee injuries.