Sunday 17 December 2017

Kiss plans rocked as bug hits camp

Eight members of Ireland's touring squad have been struck down with a stomach bug, disrupting coach Les Kiss' preparations for Saturday's meeting with Canada.

A depleted squad trained at the Canada College grounds outside Toronto last night as a number of team members were kept in isolation.

The management are hopeful that the bug will pass within 24 hours, but Kiss said that players would have to train tomorrow if they are to be selected for the Test match.

Ireland lost Simon Zebo to the Lions after last weekend's win over the US Eagles, while Fergus McFadden, Chris Henry, Peter O'Mahony and Robbie Henshaw are all recovering from knocks picked up in that game.

Kiss was already planning changes, with Paddy Jackson and Andrew Trimble set to return, but the interim coach's plans have been affected by the latest setback.

"There will be some changes. The way I've looked at it, it has been a long season with a lot of playing minutes and a lot of games," he said.

"We had a good investment last week from a young squad, with five new caps and three first starts.

"Our principle beforehand was to see the opportunity and expose players. The core principles are the same but there will be variations.

"There are some injuries. Will it keep them out? Probably not, but it affects their prep and you'd like some form that you can gauge, so we will have to adjust our plan.

"These things (illness) happen when you travel, but we will be more clear come (tomorrow) morning."

Canada have problems of their own, with three players – Matt Evans, Sean Duke and Jebb Sinclair – undergoing IRB concussion protocols after an intense battle against Tonga last weekend and three others – Aaron Carpenter, Phil Mack and Nick Blevins – fighting to be fit.

Irish Independent

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