CJ Stander has declared himself ready to play his third World Cup match in 11 days when Ireland face Russia in Kobe on Thursday.
Ireland named the same pack for their first two Pool A clashes, the 27-3 win over Scotland and Saturday’s stunning 19-12 loss to Japan.
Stander started both matches at number eight, and could be pressed back into service to take on the Russians.
Ulster’s Jordi Murphy has joined the squad after Jack Conan was ruled out of the tournament with a broken foot, while the versatile Tadhg Beirne could well feature at lock as Ireland rotate resources where possible this week.
Asked if he is ready to throw himself straight back into battle after two gruelling encounters, Stander said: “Yes definitely, it’s the excitement of the World Cup.
“This is what you want to do when you’re growing up, thinking about being part of a World Cup.
“So yes, recovery-wise we’re being looked after really well, we’ve got training on Tuesday, so we’ve got to make sure the body’s ready. So if I’m selected I’m good to go again.”
Rob Kearney and Tadhg Furlong are expected to complete their head injury checks and be available to face Russia if required.
Rhys Ruddock can be expected to start in Ireland’s back-row should head coach Joe Schmidt look to freshen up his pack.
Should Murphy start too, that could ease the workload on the likes of Josh Van Der Flier and Peter O’Mahony.
Hailing Ulster flanker Murphy’s abilities on his arrival to join the squad, Stander said: “Jordi always fits right in, we’re looking forward to getting him back in.
“He’s going to bring good balance a lot of energy to the back-row, with his ball-carrying. So we’re looking forward to having him in there.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
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