20 Sep 2011

Ireland stars under injury cloud

11:07 am on 20 September 2011

The Ireland lock Paul O'Connell and centre Gordon D'Arcy suffered hamstring strains in their rugby World Cup victory over Australia and are in doubt for their Pool C clash against Russia on Sunday.

D'Arcy limped off midway through the second half of the 15-6 win over the Tri-Nations champions at Eden Park on Saturday while British and Irish Lions captain O'Connell completed the whole match.

The Irish Rugby Football Union says both players would be monitored over the next few days ahead of Friday's team announcement for the match against the Eastern Europeans in Rotorua.

Ireland enjoyed a day off after arriving in Taupo ahead of their third Pool C match with the team still on a high after the surprise win over the Wallabies.

Ireland are likely to rest a number of first-team players for the match against Russia in preparation for their final Pool C game against Italy, where victory should mean they win the group and set up a probable quarter-final against Wales.