Sunday 19 May 2019

Tadhg Furlong declares himself fit for Scotland showdown with Iain Henderson also training fully

Iain Henderson and Tadhg Furlong trained fully today
Iain Henderson and Tadhg Furlong trained fully today
David Kelly

David Kelly

Tadhg Furlong has declared himself fit ahead of Saturday's fourth leg of a potential Grand Slam against Scotland.

And with second-row Iain Henderson also training fully at the squad's Carton House base, both of last summer's Lions' heroes will be expected to slot straight back into Joe Schmidt's line-up when it is finalised tomorow.

Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray also trained fully after having a restricted involvement last week.

However, assistant coach Simon Easterby has warned that the outstanding displays from stand-ins Andrew Porter and James Ryan, who starred in succesive wins against Italy and Wales, will create a selection headache for the coach.

Wexford man Furlong was forced off with a hamstring injury just three minutes into the second win of the campaign against Italy last month, and Leinster prop Andrew Porter deputised and then started the win against Wales.

Meanwhile, James Ryan performed admirably when stepping in for Henderson.

“The guys who did play have ownership of that jersey so it is a great place for us to be,” said forwards' coach Easterby.

“The guys who came in didn't drop the standard at all. It's a credit to our strength in depth.

“It causes us a selection headache and you have to applaud Andrew Porter's performance in the Italian game and then starting the Welsh game.

“And it is the same in the second-row with James Ryan, a couple of youngssters have come in and really done a job on us.

“Any side would be happy to have those players come back into selection, they are quality and proved that especially in the summer with the Lions with some first-class performance.

“It has created massive competition within the group. We are building quality depth and even guys who don't make the 23 this weekend could feel they could come in and not drop the squad's standards.”

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