Rob Kearney, the man-of-the-match from Ireland’s NatWest 6 Nations title-clinching win over Scotland, maintained a watching brief as Joe Schmidt’s men trained at Carton House earlier today. Check out our photos from the pitch session.
Click here to view photos of the Ireland squad training ahead of Saturday’s final round encounter with England which will see them go for a clean sweep of 2018 Championship wins.
Speaking at the team base in Maynooth, Ireland skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy confirmed that Rob Kearney’s absence from training was ‘just a case of managing his load’, while prop Cian Healy, who sustained ‘a stinger-like injury to the shoulder/trapezius area’ against Scotland, took a full part in today’s session.
“Cian trained fully today and scrummaged as well. Our medical team got onto the field very quickly (during the Scotland game), they assessed him, he was very coherent and it was a stinger injury, not a head,” explained Murphy.
“It’s great at this stage of the season, you want to have as many of your players available as possible. Cian has experience over the last 10 years, on that front it’s fantastic for us to have him. But guys like Jack McGrath could easily come in and do a similar job.
“Rob (Kearney) is fine, it’s just a case of managing his load. He picked up a couple of bangs during the game at the weekend and we are just easing his back into the week. He is perfectly fine and available for selection. He got caught a little bit on his ankle (against Scotland). The medics have looked at him, they are very happy with where he is at and we felt that just with Rob’s age and stuff like that, we have to look after him.”
Out-half Jonathan Sexton also trained and kicked fully today, with Murphy saying afterwards: “Johnny had a little bit of a glute issue but had no issues after the game (against Scotland) or after training today. He missed one kick from 42, 43 metres on the angle (the last day), the rest of the kicks were really good.
“He’s had to manage that side of it but I think he managed it really well. Coming off the performance the previous week (against Wales), it was really good. He is in a good place, he trained today, he kicked today, he’ll kick tomorrow and is building into Saturday’s game with no issues.”