IRISH RUGBY BOSS Declan Kidney received a welcome boost when both Jamie Heaslip and Andrew Trimble came through a full training session unscathed yesterday.
The two stars are now expected to feature in Kidney’s starting 15 when the Irish coach names his side to face France later this afternoon. Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris will not be available for selection however, with team manager Paul McNaughton confirming yesterday that he has not yet recovered from a knee injury.
It is hoped that both Ferris and fellow casualty Tommy Bowe will benefit from the two-week break ahead of Ireland’s game against Scotland on 27 February and that the pair will be fit to make the trip to Murraryfield.
As mentioned on TheScore yesterday, it was initially announced that Kidney would defer naming the team until Friday in order to allow the trio the maximum amount of time to prove their fitness ahead of Sunday’s clash.
However, by yesterday evening it appeared that any pending injury concerns had been resolved for better or for worse, and the team management stated that they would name the side today as originally planned.
Yesterday, French coach Marc Lièvremont announced his side for Sunday’s game, moved Damien Traille from full-back to inside centre where he will replace the injured Maxime Mermoz. Clément Poitrenaud has been drafted in to fill the vacancy at full-back caused by Traille’s redeployment.
Kidney’s full side will be named at lunchtime, but we’re going to go out on a limb and take a guess at what it might look like. We’ll bring you the actual team news as soon as it is announced.
15. Luke Fitzgerald
14. Keith Earls
13. Brian O’Driscoll
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Andrew Trimble
10. Jonathan Sexton
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Donncha O’Callaghan
5. Paul O’Connell
6. David Wallace
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip
Who’ll fill the back-row slots now that Heaslip is back in contention? Will McFadden make way for Trimble as we have suggested? Let us know in the comments below.