Ireland Clear Up Reason For Darren Sweetnam Substitution Following Odd Rumours

Injury.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has confirmed winger Darren Sweetnam was forced off early against USA with an injury and not for tactical reasons as some people have suggested.

Sweetnam was making his first start for Ireland in over a year, but was forced off with just 26 minutes on the clock at the Aviva Stadium. Schmidt says his “back tightened” and the Munster winger was struggling to run.

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Ross Byrne came on for Sweetnam, meaning Will Addison had to switch to the wing, with Joey Carbery slotting in at fullback.

“No, no, it was definitely an injury. His back tightened. He was struggling to run… if you look at the minutes before he came off, he was really struggling.” Schmidt said.

“He’s tough, Darren, and tried to play on, but he was pretty uncomfortable and when you’re in that situation… we thought about giving Ross a decent amount of game-time tonight anyway, so the way it worked out, Joey’s versatility is already well known. It meant we were able to move things around.”