Saturday 21 April 2018

Ireland camp hit by bug

Les Kiss's Ireland side face Canada at the weekend
Les Kiss's Ireland side face Canada at the weekend

Ireland's preparations for Saturday's meeting with Canada have been hit by a stomach bug which has struck down a small number of the squad.

The unaffected squad members trained in Toronto on Monday night, but coach Les Kiss is sweating over the recovery of some of his squad who have not been named. It adds to the Australian's selection issues after he lost Simon Zebo to the Lions.

However, injury worries over captain Peter O'Mahony, Chris Henry, Fergus McFadden and Robbie Henshaw appear to be easing ahead of the clash in front of what Canada Rugby hopes to be a sell-out at BMO Field.

Both coaches and captains addressed the media at a conference at the 20,000 capacity home of Toronto FC on Monday and both Kiss and his opposite number Kieran Crowley have plenty of headaches ahead of the weekend's game.

Ireland beat the US Eagles 15-12 in Houston last Saturday, while the Canadians overcame Tonga in a bad-tempered encounter.

"There is a bit of attrition after a long season, but fair play to the boys they have been good. We have had a couple of minor injuries from last week, but things are looking okay on that part," Kiss said.

"We have just had a situation today where we will not have a full squad training as there is a little bit of unwellness in the squad, but that is just something you have to deal with when you travel and these little stomach upsets happen."

New Zealander Crowley will delay finalising his team until Friday as he counts the toll left by an extremely physical encounter with the Tongans in Kingston, Ontario, on Sunday. Three players - Matt Evans, Sean Duke and Jebb Sinclair - are recovering from concussion, while Aaron Carpenter (back), Phil Mac (ankle) and Nick Blevins are fighting to be fit.

"They have been good, we had a travel day down on Sunday. The boys are pretty battered and bruised after two games in four days. We have five or six guys we're sweating on at the moment, we are going through the protocols and we will finalise our team on Friday," he said.

"They are in good spirits, winning helps that. They are looking forward to a big challenge, a tier one country and we want to put in a good performance and we are looking forward to a good game."

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