Sexton injury adds to Ireland woes in crushing defeat by New Zealand

  • Ardie Savea scores either side of half-time for All Blacks
  • Irish dominate early but then lose captain to head injury

Ireland had high hopes for this, New Zealand creeping concerns. In the end, a familiar tale unfolded. This particular Ireland team might not be familiar with 40-point hidings, but rugby observers of any experience will know scorelines well that read: New Zealand 40-plus, someone else a lot less.

Worse still for Ireland, who must now regroup after this six-try hammering, Johnny Sexton left the field in the first half, the game still in the balance, with a head injury. Given World Rugby’s latest press release and Sexton’s history with concussion, he must observe at least 12 days’ stand-down, so will miss the second Test next weekend at least.

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Live rugby updates: All Blacks v Ireland

Follow all the action from the All Blacks' clash against Ireland at Eden Park. ‌ What's on? All Blacks v Ireland, the opening test in a three-match tour. Kicking off at 7.05pm, at Eden Park. What's at stake? The...

As it happened: All Blacks v Ireland

Follow all the action from the All Blacks' clash against Ireland at Eden Park. ‌ What's on? All Blacks v Ireland, the opening test in a three-match tour. Kicking off at 7.05pm, at Eden Park. What's at stake? The...

Ireland look to storm All Blacks’ Eden Park fortress with top spot in sights | Michael Aylwin

The connoisseur’s choice of internationals this weekend is New Zealand v Ireland and the chance of history being made

In the perennial struggle between domestic sport and international, more exquisitely poised in rugby than anywhere else, this weekend marks the opening of the latest window for the international game to set out its stall. The merchants mean business, too, if the strength of the teams announced, so often depleted at this time of year, is anything to go by.

If international rugby gets its way, every other year we will see yet another tournament of meaning and intensity crank itself up on this first weekend of July, in a desperate bid to hold off the encroaching power and influence of the domestic game. Only every other year, though, because rugby already somehow crams into its quadrennial calendar a Lions tour and a World Cup, beyond the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and all the myriad domestic duties your average international rugby player has to negotiate.

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