Wednesday 13 December 2017

Reddan in fitness battle ahead of 'biggest challenge so far'

Hugh Farrelly

Eoin Reddan will see a neurologist this week to determine his availability for Saturday's showdown with England at Lansdowne Road, but the scrum-half has not been ruled out of contention.

Reddan suffered concussion in the first minute of Saturday's defeat to Wales in Cardiff, and the Irish medical staff are following IRB concussion 'return to play' protocols to determine when he will be fully recovered.

Ireland name their team to face England tomorrow and Reddan is the only injury concern, with Tomas O'Leary fit again to contest the scrum-half berth with Peter Stringer, who replaced Reddan against Wales.

Ireland defence coach Les Kiss yesterday expressed his frustration with the decision to allow Mike Phillips' try after an illegal quick throw by Wales captain Matthew Rees, which gave the home side the impetus to secure their 19-13 victory.

"We found their try difficult to take and how some of the systems of officialdom let us down," said Kiss.

"All we can do now is move on and look forward to this weekend. This group is especially good at picking out the positives from any situation and I expect we will do that this week. There are things we need to work on, and it is about trying to combine all the good things from the last four games and pulling it all together.

"The guys talked about their belief in our defence and they showed that at the weekend, and I was really happy with our completion rate, accuracy and ability to adapt to the situation," added Kiss, who sees Grand Slam-chasing England as posing a massive test at the weekend.

"England offer the biggest challenge so far to our defence and combine a balance of power with a sharp cutting edge. While the other teams asked us questions in one or two areas, I think England will ask those questions right across the park, whether that be around the rucks, in midfield or out wide."

Irish Independent

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