Ireland: Quartet’s absence played down while Tadhg Furlong among those back in training ahead of Scotland clash
Ireland are optimistic that James Lowe, Garry Ringrose and Stuart McCloskey will be fit to face Scotland despite missing training on Thursday.
Ringrose was a late withdrawal from the team that beat Italy 34-20 in their most recent outing in the Six Nations and was replaced in the XV by McCloskey.
However, the latter and wing Lowe suffered injuries in that match at the Stadio Olimpico and are being treated during the fallow week of the Championship.
Cian Healy also missed training
Joining the Ireland trio on the sidelines at training on Thursday was vastly experienced loosehead prop Cian Healy, who is struggling with a hamstring issue.
There was good news though on Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson-Park and Robbie Henshaw, who all took part in the session in a major boost.
Ireland will now hope the fly-half, prop, scrum-half and centre come through upcoming sessions unscathed and are able to play against the Scots next week.
Speaking about Lowe, Ringrose, McCloskey and Healy, Ireland forwards coach Paul O’Connell allayed fears over the quartet ahead of their Six Nations game.
“I don’t see any problem with those four guys who didn’t train today but we’re just trying to look after them,” O’Connell explained, according to the42.ie.
Sexton watched the Rome win from the stands due to a groin issue, while Furlong (calf), Gibson-Park (hamstring) and Henshaw (wrist) have yet to feature.
If they were to run out for their Test first action of 2023, O’Connell admits it would be a significant fillip as they look to press for the coveted Grand Slam.
Timely boost for in-form Irish
“They’re all very good players,” he said.
“They speak very well, they generally have a lot of logic to add whenever we have problems to solve.
“It’s been brilliant to go these three games unbeaten without some of those guys, and for them to come back in now hungry, with a bit of a different voice and a different perspective as well.”
After facing Scotland at Murrayfield next Sunday, Ireland will end their Six Nations campaign on home soil in Dublin, against England, on March 18.
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