Munster youngster Sam Arnold trains with Irish team at Carton House ahead of Six Nations opener
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has brought Munster centre Sam Arnold in to train with his squad ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations opener against France.
Although he was not named among the midfielders in the 36-man panel for the Championship, Arnold was pictured at Carton House this morning as the coach put the squad through their paces. He also travelled to Spain with the squad for their warm-weather camp.
Ireland reported no injury concerns ahead of the match and it is understood that the 21-year-old, who started Munster’s back to back games against Leicester Tigers before Christmas before being sent off in the derby against Ulster and picking up a three game ban, is in to experience the set-up and so that the coaches can have a further look at him.
Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki are expected to play in the centre at the Stade de France, while Arnold’s provincial colleagues Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell are also in the squad and trained today.
It appears likely that Arnold will return to Munster next week given they are in Guinness PRO14 action.
New Zealand’s Steve Hansen and England’s Eddie Jones regularly add ‘apprentice players’ to their squads, however while Ireland often bring additional players in to train they do not have an "apprentice programme" and prefer not to publicise their presence with the squad.