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Kearney Ireland's latest injury blow

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Rob Kearney is Ireland's latest injury blow

Ireland’s injury crisis has continued with Rob Kearney the latest player to emerge as a major doubt for Sunday’s Pool A opening clash against Scotland.

The veteran full-back is believed to be struggling with a calf problem sustained in training earlier today.

He is now a major doubt for the Scotland game, and the clash with Japan six days later, according to The Irish Times.

Kearney’s setback comes on the back of the news that Ireland are also expected to be without Robbie Henshaw, who is suffering with a hamstring injury.

While Ireland are well stocked with options in the centre, with Bundee Aki, Chris Farrell and Garry Ringrose all fit and available, Kearney’s absence would represent a major blow for Joe Schmidt.

Jordan Larmour is the most likely to start in Kearney’s place, but has endured some difficult outings at fullback. More recently, Schmidt has tended to use Larmour on the wing.

Munster’s Andrew Conway is another option, but has rarely played in the position for Ireland.

Schmidt played Henshaw at full-back during the Six Nations defeat to England earlier this year as he looked to boost his options in the position, but the experiment was abandoned after the Leinster played endured a difficult outing.

Ireland are expected to provide an update on Kearney’s fitness early tomorrow morning.

There are also doubts surrounding the fitness of Keith Earls and Joey Carbery.

Earls limped off the pitch in Ireland’s final warm-up game against Wales and has yet to train fully in Japan. Joey Carbery, who has been sidelined since the opening warm-up game against Italy, is expected to train fully later this week as he continues his recovery from an ankle problem.

The Rugby Pod on Ireland’s chances in Japan

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Rob Kearney is Ireland's latest injury blow