Tuesday 20 February 2018

Kidney defends medical team after 'erroneous' criticism

IRELAND coach Declan Kidney has hit back strongly at criticism of his medical team and the treatment of injured Irish players, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.

Ireland's medical handling of injuries to the likes of Paul O'Connell, Keith Earls, Gordon D'Arcy and Andrew Trimble has become a talking point this season and, in an interview to be broadcast on RTE radio tomorrow, Kidney strongly defended the national side's medical operation.

"There is some erroneous stuff out there," said Kidney, who is preparing his squad for the start of the November Internationals against South Africa next week.

"We have no more injuries than any other international team at the moment. They all have an injury list. We have always had injuries. They are part and parcel of the sport and you can sit around and complain about them or get on with the job.

"Someone has decided, for whatever reason, to highlight one or two things now, but it is actually no different now to any time before.

"I could not speak highly enough of the medical team that I work with. When people have misinformation, or only small bits of information, things can be said that are well wide of the mark."

Yesterday, defence coach Les Kiss said he was "very happy" with Brian O'Driscoll's recovery from a hamstring injury.

The Ireland skipper played a limited part in training and is still hoping to be fit for Ireland's opening autumn international against South Africa.

However, there was bad news for both New Zealand and England. The All Blacks wing Sitiveni Sivivatu has been ruled out of their tour of Ireland and Britain after suffering a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Jonny Wilkinson has been ruled out of England's autumn campaign with a shoulder injury. The Toulon fly-half has been formally replaced in the squad by Sale's Charlie Hodgson. The Rugby Football Union confirmed he will be out of action for around four weeks.

Irish Independent

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