Wednesday 21 February 2018

Fanning and Conway train with Ireland as injuries mount

Munster's Andrew Conway has been called up to Ireland training
Munster's Andrew Conway has been called up to Ireland training
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

WINGERS Andrew Conway and Darragh Fanning were called up to Ireland training yesterday as Joe Schmidt keeps his options open ahead of the November internationals kick-off next week.

The duo were left out of the New Zealander's initial 37-man squad named last week, but the coach referenced both as being firmly on his "radar" as he called just three out-and-out wide men up for the series.

Munster's Conway responded to being left out with a sparkling display against Saracens and his coach Anthony Foley backed him to make his debut next month, while Fanning had another solid shift on the Leinster wing in their narrow win over Castres.

Schmidt opted not to draft Luke Fitzgerald into the squad as the back continues his re-introduction after making his comeback on Sunday.

The coach's primary concern as he gathered his squad together is the fitness of Leinster trio Gordon D'Arcy, Rob Kearney and Mike Ross, while Munster prop James Cronin is another worry.

D'Arcy limped off during the second-half of his 100th European appearance after suffering a tight groin and he will be assessed by the Ireland medics in the coming days.

There are fears Kearney's hamstring strain could be worse than first thought after he missed both of Leinster's European games with the injury.

Schmidt has a front-row headache as, already without Marty Moore and Cian Healy, doubts remain over Ross who has also missed Leinster's last two games with a groin problem.

Cronin is to be assessed in the coming days after injuring his ankle and a decision on his fitness will be made next week. Given Jack McGrath is carrying an arm injury and playing through the pain barrier, Schmidt will be hoping the 23-year-old can recover in time for the meetings with South Africa, Georgia and Australia.

Irish Independent

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