March 5, 2024
Johnny Sexton was injured in the first test on Saturday at Eden Park

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton successfully played in the second Test of his three-match series against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.

Sexton was dislodged from suffering a concussion during their 42-19 defeat to the All Blacks in the opening game in Oakland last weekend.

Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt confirmed that the 36-year-old would be available for selection.

“Johnny is fine,” Kat told reporters on Tuesday.

“Johnny is decent, Johnny has passed every test he needs to pass, so from our point of view he’s good to go.”

Sexton was not allowed to return to the field on Saturday after failing an initial head injury assessment (HIA).

After the match, however, Irish coach Andy Farrell refused to exclude Sexton from the rest of the series because half of the Fly had passed second of three HIA exams.

While Kat was relieved that Sexton would be available this weekend, he also praised the performance of his replacement, Joey Carberry, in Auckland.

“(Sexton) is a massive cog there but I think Joe came in and did really well,” Cat said.

“We’re back again and that’s what the Tour is all about, our ability to adapt to what’s being thrown at us and I think we’ve done it well. So I hope it continues.”

Meanwhile, All Blacks locksmith Sam Whitelock and Tupou Vaa’i have both been disqualified from Saturday’s test.

Whitlock, who became the second-most capped Blacks first player of the weekend, may also miss the third Test in Wellington on July 16 after a delayed concussion was reported after the 42-19 win over the Irishman at Eden Park.

New head injury protocols in World Rugby prevent players from being selected 12 days after they have suffered a concussion.

“It’s not ideal,” All Blacks captain Sam Kean told reporters.

“Sam had a great weekend. He’s become the second most capped black of all time which is hugely impressive.

“We will no doubt miss his leadership and what he brings.”

Coach Ian Foster will also be without Vaa’i after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Patrick Tuipoloto has been called up as a substitute after his final return from a six-month stint in Japan.

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