Joe Schmidt has Joey Carbery's injury and some selection calls on his mind after the opening Rugby World Cup warm-up game.
Following the stuttering win over Italy, Ireland have just three injury concerns. In descending seriousness, an injury to Joey Carbery's ankle, Devin Toner's ankle and Rob Herring's back.
Realistically Herring's back might just make a selection decision easier, as he looks very much fourth choice number two. Only three hookers (Best, Scannell & Cronin) are likely to be taken to Japan.
Toner's ankle is apparently not too serious, in contrast to Carbery's, whose may be.
Carbery departed after a very effective 49 minutes as a pivot. That included scoring a try off Farrell's pull-back pass in the first half. Carbery left on the motorised stretcher as a precaution.
Following the game, Joe Schmidt confirmed the Munster fly-half had an x-ray to confirm there was swollen but not fractured. Carbery will undergo a scan to ascertain the damage and a further update is expected within the next 24 hours or so.
Schmidt appeared confident Carbery would be on the plane to Japan.
“He has a bit of swelling, so we will give that 24, 48 hours to let that go down and get it scanned again. If we don’t think it’s too bad he’ll rehab in Portugal ahead of the England game. If not England, hopefully, Wales.
“It’s too soon to say (for sure), but I don’t think it’ll keep him out of the World Cup.”
The potential absence of Carbery will be an unwelcome headache for Schmidt, Farrell, and Co ahead of the next three warm-up games. The slickness of the New Zealand born playmaker was the obvious highlight from Saturday.
Gavin Cummiskey has done like many Ireland rugby fans will over the next 18 days or so and tried to second guess Schmidt's World Cup final 31.
The squad is off to Portugal this week for some warm weather preparation with England up next on Saturday week. Jonathan Sexton is expected to wear the number 10 shirt then.
With no Carbery, Carty and Byrne will have to step up over the next two warm-up games with the risk of playing Sexton versus the possibility of injury a key aspect of player management fo the next month. John Cooney's versatility could also be a factor as a backup fly-half.
Schmidt will want versatility from his players, he can only bring 31.
They will be decided on September 1st.