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Wallabies to face injury-hit Ireland

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Joe Barton

Ireland have been left to count the cost of Saturday's bruising loss to the All Blacks, and will field a depleted backline against the Wallabies this weekend.

Ireland present Australia's biggest challenge on the tour to date, according to Michael Cheika, but they're a battle-weary squad after the physical clash with the world champions.

The hosts will be without star five-eighth Johnny Sexton and starting inside centre Robbie Henshaw, while fullback Rob Kearney remains in doubt with concussion.

Henshaw was taken from the field on a stretcher after ten minutes on Saturday following a heavy tackle by New Zealand flanker Sam Cane which left the home side seething.

"Robbie Henshaw was knocked unconscious by a shoulder contact to his jaw," said Ireland team manager Mick Kearney.

"He suffered concussion and will not be available this weekend."

Compounding Ireland's playmaking woes, Sexton's hamstring injury looks set to keep him sidelined for up to a fortnight - and he too has been ruled out of Saturday's clash at the Aviva Stadium.

The news was more positive on Rob Kearney and flanker CJ Stander, who will both play should they be able to resume training before the end of the week as expected.

Utility back Simon Zebo (cramp) is also expected to be available to face the Wallabies, while Peter O'Mahony, Keith Earls and Ultan Dillane are also due back at training.

"Very quiet day (at training on Monday), to be honest," said the team manager.

"The lads all came in (on Sunday) night, very tired and sore after a physical battle."

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