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Carbery injury scare as Ireland beats Italy 29-10

August 10, 2019
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Dave Kearney of Ireland is caught by Angelo Esposito of Italy during their Guinness Summer Series rugby championship match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday Aug. 10, 2019. (Donall Farmer/PA via AP)
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Dave Kearney of Ireland is caught by Angelo Esposito of Italy during their Guinness Summer Series rugby championship match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, Saturday Aug. 10, 2019. (Donall Farmer/PA via AP)

DUBLIN (AP) — Fly-half Joey Carbery had an ankle injury scare as Ireland eased past Italy 29-10 in its first World Cup warmup match in Dublin on Saturday.

Premier playmaker Johnny Sexton is expected to be fit shortly following a thumb strain, but Ireland can ill afford to lose either of its main backline pivots.

Ireland opens its World Cup campaign by taking on Scotland on Sept. 22, so any significant ankle issue now would threaten Carbery’s participation in Japan.

Connacht’s Jack Carty and Leinster’s Ross Byrne would be the men to understudy British and Irish Lions fly-half Sexton in Japan, should Carbery miss out through injury.

New Zealand-born Carbery offers Ireland added selection flexibility though, with the ability to cover full-back, and even centre at a push.

Carbery, Dave Kearney, Andrew Conway, Jordi Murphy and Kieran Marmion all crossed as an experimental Ireland lineup secured a routine Aviva Stadium victory.

Maxime Mbanda and Carlo Canna bagged first-half tries for Italy.

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