Paul O’Connell is likely to have his worst fears confirmed that both his World Cup and Test profession are at ending.
Captain and talismanic lock O’Connell will undergo scans on his hamstring injury in Cardiff, as Ireland count the sizeable expense in their bludgeoning 24-9 victory.
Ireland will face Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinals with France meeting New Zealand, on Sunday.
Joe Schmidt’s Ireland could be without Johnny Sexton, O’Connell, Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien if disciplinary issues all and harms drop the incorrect way.
“Paul is the one that worries me most,” Schmidt said. “It does not appear amazing with Paul.
“Johnny looks like an abductor if you ask me. That’s not a learned eye of a medic so we’re probably going to get Johnny scanned tomorrow.
“Pete did not appear too bad so we’re optimistic with Pete. I think it is a twist of knee or the ankle but Pete was walking pretty well. Hopefully Johnny’ll be OK.”
O’Mahony left the Millennium Stadium in a knee brace as well as on crutches, but both sets of apparatus might have been precautionary.
Sexton’s crotch issue could yet ease in time to confront Argentina, but flanker O’Brien will probably be left to sweat on whether tournament discipline bosses choose to cite him for an alleged impact.
Ireland leader Schmidt expects Leinster back-rower O’Brien will be free to manage the Pumas.
“It’s not a closed fist. A decision for me not it although I had be hopeful. Hopefully it is not a thing which impacts on us.
“Considering the dressing room at the moment, we could ill-afford to lose another player, particularly a player of Sean’s experience and standing in the group.”
Prop Cian Healy admitted Ireland would summon additional motivation to reach a first World Cup semi final should they lose O’Connell to harm.
“Hopefully Paul will be okay, but you get dealt those hands sometimes,” said Healy.
“Hopefully he will be fine, but if not then which will definitely give Johnny additional motivation.”