Full-back Girvan Dempsey remains doubtful for Ireland’s clash with Italy in Saturday’s Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations game in Rome.
Full-back Girvan Dempsey remains doubtful for Ireland’s clash with Italy in Saturday’s Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations game in Rome. Dempsey is suffering from a groin strain and although he will be with the squad when it flies out today, John Kelly will also travel as additional cover.
Explaining the decision, coach Eddie O’Sullivan said, “He finished the game fine, there was no problem. On Sunday night his groin became sore again. It’s an injury he sustained in the Heineken Cup game against Bristol. Again on Monday it was still quite sore. We expected it to be better than this today so we’re taking the precaution of bringing John Kelly with us. We’ll give Girvan a couple of days ans see how it goes.”
In relation to Ronan O’Gara and his omission from the squad, O’Sullivan explained, “We were quite confident he’d be ok. He trained yesterday but last night he had a re-action to training which you often get with these injuries – you come through a session but then get a re-action hours later. We decided this morning not to take any risks with him.”
O’Sullivan confirmed that if Dempsey fails to recover in time, then Geordan Murphy will start at full-back with John Kelly on the right wing.
Ireland: Girvan Dempsey/Geordan Murphy; Geordan Murphy/John Kelly, Brian O’Driscoll capt., Kevin Maggs, Denis Hickie; David Humphreys, Peter Stringer; Reggie Corrigan, Shane Byrne, John Hayes; Gary Longwell, Malcolm O’Kelly; Victor Costello, Keith Gleeson, Anthony Foley.
Replacements: Frank Sheahan, Marcus Horan, Leo Cullen, Alan Quinlan, Guy Easterby, Paul Burke, Rob Henderson.