Ireland quartet set to return ahead of second Test with New Zealand

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Ireland will be boosted by the return to training of Rob Herring, Harry Byrne, Mack Hansen and Finlay Bealham ahead of the second Test against New Zealand this week.

Andy Farrell’s squad have been struck by a number of injuries and absences on the tour but captain Johnny Sexton is expected to be fit for Saturday’s match in Dunedin as he undergoes his third and final head injury assessment on Monday.

Prop Jeremy Loughman and Dave Heffernan are currently following 12-day return to play protocols after concussion but fellow hooker Herring and fly-half Byrne are back after knocks while winger Hansen has completed his period of Covid isolation and prop Bealham will do so later in the week.

Centre Stuart McCloskey arrives in New Zealand on Monday, following Ed Byrne who flew in on Saturday following a tour-ending groin injury to James Hume.

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