Sunday 18 February 2018

Joe Schmidt reduces Six Nations squad as Jack Conan and Fergus McFadden miss out

Fergus McFadden has been ruled out of the Ireland squad with a rib cartilage injury.
Fergus McFadden has been ruled out of the Ireland squad with a rib cartilage injury.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Joe Schmidt has named a 38 player squad for the first two rounds of the RBS 6 Nations Championship, with six players released from the original panel chosen ahead of the opening fixture against Italy in Rome.

The squad had been reduced through injury as well as a number of Wolfhounds returning to their provinces.

The Leinster quarterof  Jack Conan, Michael Bent, Noel Reid and Fergus McFadden depart, with a rib cartilage injury ruling the utility back out.

Craig Gilroy drops out as a result of following the return to play protocols after a concussion in suffered in the defeat to the Saxons, while his provincial team-mate Rob Herring has also been released.

"Jack Conan and Michael Bent did well against the Saxons but will return to Leinster, as will Noel Reid who was restricted to a brief cameo as he was covering a number of positions," head coach Joe Schmidt said.

Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald are expected to be fully fit to train in preparation for Italy, while Eoin Reddan and Jamie Heaslip are progressing well and are likely to be available to train fully on Tuesday.

Mike McCarthy suffered a concussion during the Wolfhounds game and will stay with the squad while completing the return to play protocols.  Cian Healy continues to make very promising progress post his hamstring injury.

Conor Murray trained well on Friday and is expected to be fit for the Italy clash this Saturday.

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