Saturday 20 January 2018

Dave Kilcoyne and James Ryan doubts for Fiji clash as kicking coach Murphy hails Carbery improvement

Dave Kilcoyne, right and CJ Stander of Ireland celebrate at the weekend
Dave Kilcoyne, right and CJ Stander of Ireland celebrate at the weekend
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Dave Kilcoyne and James Ryan are major doubts for Saturday's second November international against Fiji after sitting out training this morning.

The duo, who both came off the bench in the win over South Africa last weekend, were expected to be in contention for this week’s game as Joe Schmidt considers making sweeping changes to his team for the Aviva Stadium clash.

Traditionally under Schmidt, failure to train on Tuesday has meant a player will not be considered and so the duo's participation is in doubt.

Michael Bent has been recalled to the squad for the encounter after John Ryan was ruled out with a calf injury.

Skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy said the management expect the Munster tighthead to return to the squad next week.

"Dave Kilcoyne and James Ryan are both carrying bangs and sat out training today but should be fit later in the week," he said.

"Michael Bent has come in as cover. John Ryan has returned to Munster to do a bit of rehab but we expect him to be available for next week (for the Argentina match).

"There will be opportunities this week to change that up (the team) a little bit. It’s about taking us forward again.

"No matter what team goes out there it is Ireland and it’s a test match, we set a little bit of a bar last week (in terms of performance) and we want to make sure that we are moving forward and not taking a step back.

"The guys that get the jerseys have to take us forward onto the next level.

"There was obviously really good confidence in the squad before that. We had some really big performances over the last while, what we want now is consistency and try and nail that down week in, week out; that gives another challenge this week."

Murphy hailed Joey Carbery’s contribution to last Saturday’s win, particularly his two successful conversion attempts.

"If you look at where he was this time last year to where he is now, he's obviously that year older and he's filled out a bit," the former Leinster out-half said.

He's a little bit stronger and has come into our environment more as a 10 than as a 15 at the moment and he's stepped up really well. He's organised others around him and has fitted into that role really well.

"From my point of view, one of the things is goal-kicking, and he hasn't the opportunity to do that on a regular basis but the two strikes at the weekend were fantastic and we'll be looking forward to him getting a bit more opportunity in that area over the next couple of weeks.

"When you don't goal-kick on a regular basis at your club and you have to step up in front of 50,000 and it's an international and, I don't know, maybe his fifth cap, it's a pretty daunting place to be especially when last year the kicking didn't go particularly well.

"He's a strong man, he's got a real focus on what he's going to do in training and to bring it into the match. He stood up at the weekend which was fantastic. There will be more opportunities for him to do that again.

"He's a great guy to watch. You try to build opportunities in or around him and with some of our set-plays and stuff like that.

"At the end of the day, he is one of those guys who has an ability to beat people and those guys don't come around very often in Ireland, there's plenty of them in Fiji. That makes him a little bit special and a little bit different. "

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