Ireland's Carbery out of World Cup match against Russia

Kobe (Japan) (AFP) –


Ireland made a late change to their matchday 23 to play Russia in a World Cup Pool A match in Kobe on Thursday after Joey Carbery withdrew with an ankle problem.

Carbery's place on the bench was taken by British and Irish Lions scrum-half Conor Murray, who will now provide cover for Luke McGrath.

The Irish Rugby Football Union tweeted just over an hour before kick-off that Carbery had "felt some irritation in the ankle after Captain's Run" and "it was felt best not to risk him."

Ireland have been bolstered, however, by the return at fly-half of Johnny Sexton, captaining his country for the first time.

Sexton missed Ireland's shock 19-12 defeat by tournament hosts Japan in Shizuoka on Saturday with a thigh injury.

Bundee Aki returns to midfield but Carbery's knock adds to Ireland's list of injury concerns in their back division, with centre Chris Farrell sidelined with concussion and Robbie Henshaw still to regain full fitness following hamstring trouble.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has made 11 changes in personnel to his starting side for Thursday's match under the closed roof of the Kobe Misaki Stadium.

Despite the defeat by Japan, wins over minnows Russia and Samoa, their last pool opponents, on October 12 should see Ireland into a quarter-final where they are likely face either reigning world champions New Zealand or South Africa.