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Burns ruled out of Finals Weekend with groin injury

Burns ruled out of Finals Weekend with groin injury

Burns ruled out of Finals Weekend with groin injury

Ireland fly-half Billy Burns has been ruled out of this weekend’s Autumn Nations Cup third/fourth place playoff against Scotland with a groin injury.

The Ulster man was forced off in Sunday’s 23-10 victory over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium after opening the scoring with an early try in Dublin, in an impressive first start for his country.

Will Connors will also miss Saturday’s clash after sustaining a head injury in the victory over the Lelos, while James Lowe and Ed Byrne are still sidelined after missing the final match of the group stage.

Speaking after Sunday’s victory, Burns admitted to feeling a niggle before the match in Dublin, but was determined to feature in an Irish starting XV for the first time, before the pain became too much later in the game.

“I felt it a little bit in the warm-up, got through the first half okay and then struggled to get back going in the second half,” the 26-year-old revealed.

“I didn’t feel like it was going to affect my performance. If I felt like it was sore enough that I couldn’t do my job for the team or perform, then I would have pulled out.

“But I didn’t feel like it was enough to pull out of the game. I got through the warm-up fine and it was literally a case that it sort of gradually started to get worse.

“It got to a point where I was probably struggling to function and that was the time to pull me off.”

The setback comes as a blow to both Burns and Ireland, after the fly-half impressed with both the boot and ball in hand against the Georgians last time out, contributing 15 out of the 23 points scored in Dublin.

It took just eight minutes for him to get on the scoresheet, as he capitalised on a concerted spell of Irish pressure on the visitors’ try line, before quick hands from Chris Farrell gave him the opportunity to slalom past the defence to grab his first international try.

Two conversions and two penalties saw him add to his tally – as he staked his claim for regular inclusion in the starting XV – before his eventual replacement in the second-half with Ross Byrne taking on kicking duties in his absence.

The good news for Ireland is that captain Johnny Sexton has returned to full training with the squad this week, after missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury sustained in the Autumn Nations Cup curtain-raiser against Wales.

Robbie Henshaw has also returned to full training, after a groin injury sustained in the same game, with both in contention to return to action against Scotland this Saturday.

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