RUGBY: Robbie Henshaw returns home from Ireland tour to undergo knee scan

Ireland's Robbie Henshaw
Ireland's Robbie Henshaw

Ireland will be without centre Robbie Henshaw for their third and final Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Connacht star, who moves to Leinster this summer, will have scans on a knee injury in the coming days after flying home on Sunday night.

Joe Schmidt will not call up a replacement for the 23-year-old, who has started both of the games on tour at outside centre, due to the logistics of travel involved, and he has options for the deciding Test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Jared Payne is an experienced number 13 who could switch to the midfield from full-back, while Luke Marshall started the first Test alongside Henshaw and could be paired with Stuart Olding this weekend.

Ireland have no other injury worries for the final game of their season despite not training on Monday as they recover from the bruising 32-26 defeat in Johannesburg.

“Robbie Henshaw has returned home and will see a consultant about his knee in Dublin, just to assess the severity of his injury,” team manager Mick Kearney said.

“Apart from Robbie, all 31 players are expected to train for the rest of the week.

“Rhys Ruddock did get a couple of stitches above his eye but he’ll be fine.

“The lads underwent a good recovery session in the Indian Ocean (on Monday morning) and have the rest of the day off apart from a walk-through (on Monday afternoon).

“They will then train as normal (on Tuesday morning), down day Wednesday, train again Thursday and then captain’s run at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.”

South Africa did train on Monday but they too have injury concerns ahead of the series decider, with Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley and Trevor Nkayane all struggling.

Vermeulen came off at half-time of Saturday’s game with an elbow injury, while Whiteley replaced him but damaged his shoulder. He and prop Nkayane have gone for scans on their problems.