Friday 20 April 2018

Ringrose set for Leinster return but O'Brien's Six Nations hopes fading

Garry Ringrose could be in contention for Ireland. Photo: PA
Garry Ringrose could be in contention for Ireland. Photo: PA
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

The likelihood remains that Garry Ringrose will feature for Leinster on Friday night, but if a surprise call does come from Joe Schmidt for Wales on Saturday, John Fogarty believes that the outside centre can slot straight back in.

Ringrose trained fully with Leinster on Friday, for the first time since recovering from the ankle injury he picked up against Ulster last month. The 23-year-old trained in UCD again yesterday, but will link up with the Ireland squad at Carton House today.

"I think it's a tough one (to play against Wales) but on the other side of it, he's so intelligent," Fogarty, Leinster's scrum coach said.

"He's physically really, really good, he's probably one of the only guys you could move back in there.

"There is much instinct that is sharpened through game time so that's why I'm saying that these lads can sharpen themselves over one or two games.

"Some of them get back so quick, but sometimes they need that game for their own confidence. I'm not saying this is the case, it's just my opinion on it.

"I think he is smart enough to move straight back in. It's a big call. Joe has made great calls over the years so if Joe puts him on the bench..."

Luke McGrath however will not play any part for club or country this weekend, and he looks unlikely to feature again in the Six Nations.

The scrum-half picked up a knee injury on Saturday and while a subsequent scan showed no significant ligament damage, McGrath is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Leinster are confident that McGrath will return in time for their Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Saracens.

"Luke isn't going to be available this week but I think everyone is very confident it's not long-term," Fogarty revealed.

"There's not that worry downstairs (for Saracens) and I'm going off that. The lads aren't stressed about what's going on with Luke at the moment but he's not going to be involved this week."

The chances of O'Brien featuring in the Six Nations are also narrowing.

The flanker will step up his rehab from a hip injury this week and although he could resume training next week, he likely faces another two to three weeks away from competitive action.

"Sean is one of those older players that you sort of have to go week-by-week as you get close," Fogarty added. "Sometimes guys are given X amount of weeks but for the older guys who have had a history of injuries, they sort of go week to week.

"He ran last week and that was a positive. They'll do change of angle or increase his workload this week. It goes from there and that's the truth of it.

"We're not trying to hide anything. He's not going to be stressed further in his training week. We'll see how he adapts to it and hopefully he adapts well."

Irish Independent

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