Ireland handed World Cup fitness boost as Devin Toner makes pre-season return
Devin Toner has handed Ireland a major boost after confirming that he has been involved in pre-season training since last week.
The towering lock suffered a knee injury in Leinster's PRO14 semi-final win over Munster last month, but there was no long-term damage and he reported for international duty as normal.
Despite Joe Schmidt having plenty of second-row options, Toner remains a vital part of the Ireland head coach's World Cup plans.
"It's great, I'd say if there was a game coming up, I'd probably be able to play," Toner said at the launch of Energia’s new partnership as official energy partner of Irish Rugby and title sponsor of the All-Ireland League.
"I'm not doing contact or mauling or anything. I'm just doing kind of linear running and stuff from side-to-side.
"If I had to play, I would be able to strap it up and be able to play.
"The way pre-season is, we did a hard two-week block. We have a week next week where we still have to kind of train on our own and then we are back in.
"When we come back in for that week, I'm hell for leather doing everything then, so it's grand. It could have been a lot worse than what it was.
"To me it felt bad because I have never done my knee before. I felt a little bit of a pop, so I thought it was bad, but because I was able to walk off the pitch and put weight on it, they told me it wasn't too bad.
"It was a grade-two medial. A lot of lads have done it and said it was grand and that I would be back in five or six weeks."