Rory Best

Shouldering the burden: Injury could rule Rory Best out of Ireland's World Cup campaign

RORY BEST’S World Cup is in jeopardy after he sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder during the game against Italy on Sunday.

Ireland are going to see how the hooker goes in training on Tuesday but admit he’s “definitely doubtful” for the weekend’s quarter-final against Wales and indeed for the remainder of the tournament.

It would be a big blow for the Irish. Not only has Best been playing brilliantly at RWC 2011, forming a solid front-row unit with Cian Healy and Mike Ross, but Ireland have already lost Jerry Flannery to injury meaning they could go into the Wales game with the comparably inexperienced Sean Cronin and Damien Varley as their hooking options.

Ireland backs coach Alan Gaffney also admitted that he will looking to tweak his side’s game plan for Saturday night’s match. Against Italy they were direct, taking the ball up through the middle, but they will change their tactics against Wales.

“Wales defend in a totally different way to how Italy defend, so we’ll approach Wales a bit differently,” said Gaffney. “Wales have changed their style. They had become a bit predictable, playing an attractive brand of rugby but a predictable one. Full credit to Warren Gatland, Rob Howley and Shaun Edwards, they’ve changed that attack and I believe they are more potent now then they used to be.”