Monday 18 December 2017

Video: Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal bows out of Six Nations because of injury

IRELAND forwards coach Gert Smal will take no further part in the RBS 6 Nations because of an eye condition.

Anthony Foley, assistant coach at Munster, has been drafted in to replace the South African for the remainder of the championship.

Foley is among the favourites to take over the reigns of Munster next season with the departure of coach Tony McGahan.

Head coach Declan Kidney, speaking at today's press conference ahead of tomorrow's clash with Italy, insisted the change will cause minimal disruption to Ireland's Six Nations.

"Unfortunately Gert fell ill earlier in the week," said Kidney "He had a pre-existing eye condition from many years back - I don't have full medical details but they are a private matter anyway - and it means he is ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations.

"We have called in Anthony Foley and we have the blessing of Munster to do that. He will work with the forwards along with (scrum coach) Greg Feek.

"Gert is a very well-prepared man. It's an unfortunate situation but the prep work has been done so it won't hinder us overtly."

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