Cian Healy has been passed fit to play in this weekend Rugby World Cup opener against Canada following neck surgery. The presence of Healy greatly increases the team’s chances of reaching the semi-final.
Loosehead prop Healy has battled neck problems since May. Scrum-half Conor Murray has been passed fit after concussion, with Rob Kearney also fighting fit after suffering knee problems.
Ireland team manager Mick Kearney admitted Healy endured “a degree of pessimism” earlier in the summer, fearing he would miss the World Cup.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt’s decision to include Healy in his final World Cup 31 has now been was a welcome one, even though the Healy was not fully fit when selected. “He’s a world-class player and he’s made an unbelievable recovery,” said Hooker Rory Best.