All 31 players trained fully at Newport High School this morning as the Ireland squad stepped up their preparations for Sunday’s Pool D showdown with France. Check out some photos from today’s session.
Click here to view photos of the Ireland players training in Newport.
Asked about having a fully-fit squad to choose from this week, Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby said: “It is testament to not only the players, who put in a lot of effort after games to make sure they recover, but the medical staff and the conditioners.
“We have been very fortunate that we haven’t had to call for any back-up yet unlike some teams and to be able to get everyone out on the pitch today is very important.
“At this stage, after three pool games, I don’t think there will be many teams who have got that many players from their original squad, running around.”
With the team to face France announced on Friday afternoon, he added: “The selection has been very difficult. As far as the back-three is concerned, there are a number of players who are in form and that’s great for us as coaches. It’s great that we have the opportunity to pick from a full deck.
“The one thing that we pride ourselves on is to be big in the air. We need to dominate that area. It is certainly an area that we, as coaches and players, focus on. The French have lost (Yoann) Huget earlier in the tournament and that was a blow to them.
“But they have certainly got firepower out wide. We are pretty focused in the back-three in trying to negate their threats.”