Thursday 20 July 2017

Schmidt to do without key men after Ireland delay

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

DECLAN Kidney's decision to delay naming his team until today looks set to cost some of his Leinster squad members a chance to play for the province.

While Leinster boss Joe Schmidt didn't quite echo Muster Tony McGahan's criticism of the national set-up, he confirmed the likes of Fergus McFadden and Sean O'Brien will not be selected for tomorrow's clash with the Dragons if they are left out of the Irish 22.

Had Ireland named their match-day squad on Tuesday as usual, the spurned players would've had two days to prepare for the RDS clash.

But Schmidt, who confirmed that New Zealand prop Clint Newland will start his first match, believes 24-hours notice is too short for him to include returning internationals -- although prop Mike Ross' appearance at training yesterday means he will be on the bench if made available.

"We're going to go with what we've got now," Schmidt said.

"We could wait for someone, but I'm a big believer that guys who've trained all week and put the work in should get to play. You can make exceptions, particularly for some players who need to play.

"Some of our players have been involved in the Irish squad, but haven't had a lot of game time. Mike's been gone all week, but came in this morning. If he gets released at the end of (Ireland) training on Thursday, he could come on to the bench for us. He's the type of guy I'm talking about."

Irish Independent

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