Friday 20 July 2018

Cooney replaces injured McGrath in Six Nations squad while Ringrose returns to Ireland training ahead of Wales clash

17 June 2017; Garry Ringrose of Ireland during the international rugby match between Japan and Ireland at the Shizuoka Epoca Stadium in Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
17 June 2017; Garry Ringrose of Ireland during the international rugby match between Japan and Ireland at the Shizuoka Epoca Stadium in Fukuroi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Nick Purewal

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose could be in contention to face Wales in Saturday's NatWest 6 Nations clash after replacing the injured Robbie Henshaw in Ireland's squad.

Ringrose has been battling ankle trouble since January but was drafted into Ireland's ranks on Monday, with Henshaw sidelined for three to four months with shoulder trouble.

Ireland will be forced to rearrange their midfield in the absence of British and Irish Lion Henshaw, with Chris Farrell and now Ringrose among those in the frame to wear the number 13 shirt.

Henshaw suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder in the act of scoring his second try in Ireland's 56-19 win over Italy on February 10.

"Garry Ringrose comes in to train with the squad following the injury to Robbie Henshaw," the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) confirmed in a statement.

Ringrose has won 11 caps since his 2016 debut, with the 23-year-old growing into a pivotal performer for head coach Joe Schmidt.

Ireland remain hopeful that tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong and locks Iain Henderson and James Ryan will be fit in time for Saturday's Aviva Stadium encounter.

Hooker Rob Herring and scrum-half Luke McGrath have both picked up injuries and should miss the Wales clash, as Ireland bid to extend their 100 per cent record in this year's Six Nations.

"Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and James Ryan are progressing well through their respective rehab programmes," read the IRFU statement.

"Niall Scannell will again train with the squad following an elbow injury to Rob Herring in Ulster's game against Edinburgh.

"John Cooney will also train with Ireland this week following the knee injury sustained by Luke McGrath in Leinster's game against Scarlets."

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