Joe Schmidt Hints At Who Will Replace Robbie Henshaw For The Wales Game

Primed and ready.

Munster centre Chris Farrell is in line to replace the injured Robbie Henshaw in Ireland’s starting line-up for the visit of Wales to Dublin in the Six Nations next weekend.

Head coach Joe Schmidt is set to resist the temptation of bringing Garry Ringrose straight back into his side. The Leinster centre is close to full fitness after overcoming an ankle problem, but won’t be back in time for this weekend’s clash with Scarlets.

Speaking after yesterday’s open training session at Buccaneers RFC, Schmidt revealed that Farrell’s involvement so far during this campaign means he will likely get the nod over Ringrose for the Wales game.

“I do think Chris would have his nose in front because he’s been with us the whole time and Garry hasn’t,” said Schmidt.

“As much as Garry has had more Test match experience and was outstanding in Japan and the USA and was super for us previous to that, Chris has got the current game form with us.

“He kind of found his feet a bit against Fiji, I thought he was really good against Argentina and I think he showed there’s a bit more to Chris Farrell than a bludgeon – nice soft skills and a tight pass, he’s got a good length in his pass.

“He’s actually got pretty good kicking skills and I thought his defensive acumen on the day against an Argentinian team with the likes of [Joaquín] Tuculet coming into the back line, just outside that midfield area, where he’s kind of in the midfield and then looking to get out to those sort of guys, I thought he closed the space down really well.

“They’d be probably some of the things that we’d volunteer as the strengths we see with Chris.”

Ringrose will likely be fit in time for Leinster’s game with the Kings the Friday before Ireland’s Six Nations return. Farrell no doubt, will be hoping he can take his chance, and keep the youngster waiting a little bit longer.