Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell says the squad’s training sessions have been ‘high-level quality and high-level intensity’ as preparations step up a gear for the Guinness Six Nations restart and the visit of Italy to Dublin on Saturday week.
After assembling at their Carton House base on Wednesday, the Ireland squad have had two pitch sessions at the IRFU High Performance Centre as they build towards the Round 4 clash against Italy at Aviva Stadium (Saturday 24th October, kick-off 3.30pm).
Speaking to media during an online press conference, Farrell said: “The players have been brilliant. We have been in camp for two days now. The session that we just finished this morning was high-level quality and high-level intensity. That just shows what it means to be in this situation and how much they are looking forward to a Test match next week against Italy.”
Among the group are uncapped players Hugo Keenan, Will Connors and Shane Daly, all of whom came through the Ireland Sevens programme, and Farrell has been particularly impressed with the trio as they look to make an impression on the coaches ahead of a busy Autumn schedule.
“They bring an energy that’s relentless, all three of them that you mentioned have fantastic attitudes and it’s what needed to grow on the international ladder,” Farrell continued. “They have done unbelievably well to get selected but this is the start of their international career.
“They are very hungry for information and their attitude has been first class. It is a difficult world coming into international camp for the first time. They are behind the eight ball because there are a lot of people who have been around for quite some time, who know the set-up and (they) now have to get ready for an international match in a few days.
“It is obviously new to them but they are adapting unbelievably well. The lads are looking after them along the way. The potential is there for everyone to see and we have to make sure that we bring that out.”
Following Friday’s session, Farrell provided a positive update on Johnny Sexton (hamstring), Ronan Kelleher (quad) and Andrew Porter (hamstring).
“Obviously they have a few protocols to come through but they are looking good,” the Head Coach added. “They trained in a low key session yesterday and got through that absolutely fine. We have a decent session tomorrow and we will see how they go with that but at this moment in time they are progressing very well.”