Tuesday 21 November 2017

Olding's 'miraculous recovery' gives Kiss full deck ahead of Eagles clash

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

IRELAND's squad touched down in Texas with an extra man on board after James Downey was added to the travelling party.

However, Stuart Olding has made what manager Mick Kearney described as a "miraculous recovery" from the ankle injury he suffered in the Pro12 final and will be in contention for Saturday's meeting with the US Eagles in Houston.

With the Ulster youngster the only recognised inside centre in the original 28-man squad, Downey's presence ensures cover.

The positive bulletin on Olding means that Les Kiss will have a full squad available to him when they begin full training at the state-of-the-art CES high-performance centre this morning.

"The lads trained very well last week, they're excited about what's in prospect and there's a lovely mix between the younger lads and the more mature players," said Kearney. "There are a number of players I was involved with at U-20 level here and it is great to see them stepping through so quickly."

Yesterday's schedule consisted of acclimatisation in the humid conditions in the southern American city. Temperatures will be in the mid-30s all week with humidity upwards of 70pc.

"It started off last week at Carton House where the lads were taking on more fluids than they normally would," explained Kearney.

"On the plane, they had to drink a minimum of 300ml of water every hour. They also had facemasks to gather up any germs and these things called fire-flies to stimulate the muscles, and some of them wore 'skins' to help circulation.

"There was a fair bit of science and work put into it. Even when we went to New Zealand last year we didn't have the facemasks or fire-flies."

Ireland will train in the mornings in the early part of the week, before gradually moving into the afternoon heat ahead of the evening kick-off on Saturday night local time.

Irish Independent

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