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Farrell out for Ireland

Monday, 5th March, 2018 9:47am

Chris Farrell is set to miss the rest of the Six Nations, it has been confirmed.

Farrell was sent for a precautionary scan on Tuesday which indicated some ligament damage had occurred and he will now see a specialist. As a result, the 24-year-old centre, who was Ireland's man-of-the-match against Wales last Saturday, is now unavailable for the remainder of the Six Nations.

It is a huge disappointment for the Tyrone native just a few days on from his Championship debut and a memorable individual performance in the 37-27 bonus point win.

Garry Ringrose's return from ankle surgery could prove particularly timely for Joe Schmidt's men. He played almost an hour of Leinster's 64-7 victory over the Southern Kings last Friday night and was back on Ireland duty at today's opening training session in Dublin.

As Saturday week's clash with Scotland looms large on the horizon, Ireland head coach Schmidt said: "Garry will certainly be in the squad, (but) it's likely that he may still play with Leinster (against the Scarlets on Saturday). I'll be talking with Leo (Cullen) later today. He may well play with Leinster just to get another game under his belt.

"But he will be in the wider (Ireland) squad because he would have been selected in the squad initially anyway. It's great to have him back in there. I thought he was really sharp in training today and he was good against the Kings, so he's hit the ground running. He's a smart player as well as a really good athlete."

Half-backs Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray did some modified training earlier this week, while Rob Kearney and Bundee Aki maintained a watching brief from the touchline. Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson, who both missed the Wales game through injury, did not take a full part in the session but Schmidt said that 'our plan is that they (Furlong and Henderson) train fully next week'.

"What pulling them out of last weekend meant for us, particularly Iain who was very close to being available and could have played, is we decided to go backwards rather than forwards and take our time a little bit more with that recovery process," said Schmidt. "We'd expect Tadhg and Iain to train fully on the Tuesday, Thursday. Maybe we might manage them a bit on the Monday."

He added: "Conor ran really well. Johnny was doing some conditioning - one of his favourite things! They both got through their work really well. It's one of those weeks where you can be a little bit varied in how you deliver what needs to be done by different players.

"One of the really good things about this week is that it allows guys like Joey Carbery and Kieran Marmion to get in and boss the team because in a match week by the time you have done three trainings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday there's not that many windows where the younger players can get in and take charge of the team."

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