Tuesday 23 January 2018

Boost for Ireland as Cian Healy comes back into contention for Six Nations finale

Cian Healy
Cian Healy
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ireland captain Rory Best sat out training at Carton House this morning, but he is not considered a major doubt for Saturday’s final Six Nations game against Scotland.

The Ulster hooker felt a tightness in his calf after training yesterday and didn’t take part in the session with the rest of the players.

After pulling out of the Italy game early, Cian Healy trained yesterday and today and should be available for selection for what is likely to be a decider for third place, while Eoin Reddan took to the field after suffering a calf injury that kept him out of the win over Italy.

Joe Schmidt is widely expected to stick with the starting XV from the nine-try victory last weekend, although Healy and Reddan come into contention from the bench.

Rob Kearney has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury and, while skills coach Richie Murphy said there are some tight selection calls, the likelihood is that he'll go again.

“Eoin returned to training today, Cian trained yesterday and today,” he said.

“Rory Best sat out training, little tight in the calf. The medics feel like he should be fine, ready to go for Thursday.

“I think it’s a case of having a look at the team and seeing how guys come through. We’ve a week’s turnaround, picking a similar team is very easy. Today’s training session was good, high intensity. Guys look ready to go again.

“There are a couple of close calls, same as last week and those will be re-assessed.”

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