Ireland ‘concerned’ over Jamie Heaslip injury during French victory

Ireland Jamie Heaslip
Ireland Jamie Heaslip

Ireland face an anxious wait to learn the extent of a back injury sustained by forward Jamie Heaslip amid fears he could miss the rest of the Six Nations.

The number eight had to be replaced during the second half of Ireland’s 18-11 win over France after appearing to be kneed in the back by Pascal Pape.

Reports on Sunday suggested that Heaslip may have suffered a suspected broken vertebrae in the incident.

French coach Philippe Saint-Andre has said Pape’s challenge was accidental.

Lock Pape was yellow carded by English referee Wayne Barnes for the offence which occurred during a ruck in the 52nd minute.

The former Irish captain struggled on until the hour mark before being replaced by Jordi Murphy but was said to be “in a lot of pain” after the match in Dublin.

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt reported Heaslip to be “very uncomfortable” after the final whistle and the Leinster player did not attend the team dinner on Saturday night.

“Jamie got a knee in the lower back - we’ll get him checked out over the next few days,” confirmed Schmidt.

French coach, Saint-Andre said: “When you watch the images of the incident I don’t think you can say it was deliberate,” said Saint-Andre.

“However, I said to Pascal you received a yellow card just at the moment we were gaining the upper hand both physically and territorially as we were in their 22.