Sunday 22 July 2018

'I haven't ruled out Cian Healy return next week' - Joe Schmidt

Barry Lennon

Ireland manager Joe Schmidt has said that he would not rule playing Cian Healy against England next weekend.

The loosehead prop has been making steady progress in training this week after recovering from neck surgery.

When asked about Healy's prospect of return next week Schmidt remained optimistic.

“I wouldn't him rule out (a return next week). The way he's going, if he is good, we'd be looking to give him 20 minutes off the bench against England. We also are prepared to be patient.

“I guess the challenge is also looking at Jack McGrath and Dave Kilcoyne as options. That'll be the difficulty"

“He's really picking up. He trained fully Thursday with contact. He's a lot more positive about where he can get to. That gives us confidence. He's going to keep working. 

Read more: Luke Fitzgerald in new look midfield as Paul O'Connell set for Irish finale on home soil

Schmidt was also asked about his selection for the Ireland side to face Wales on Saturday which sees Luke Fitzgerald play at Number 13.

“Luke's played 13 before. He came on as replacement a few years ago in the All blacks match. Its making sure we've coverage in certain postions. What we try and do”

There was also omission of Marty Moore who had suffered a foot injury

"He trained fully this week. He gets a chance to push himself. He can certainly get out there and build on previous performance against Scotland. Albeit a cameo performance."

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