Ireland handed big fitness boost ahead of RWC clash with Tonga

Ready to rock.

Ireland have been handed a big fitness boost ahead of their Rugby World Cup clash with Tonga in Nantes this weekend, with the entire match-day squad coming through unscathed following their win over Romania in the opening round.

The men in green ran in 12 tries in an impressive 82-8 win and having a clean bill of health at the end of it all is more than Ireland could have asked for.

There is however still doubt over Robbie Henshaw’s fitness. The Leinster centre was named on the bench for the Romania game but was a late withdrawal ahead of kick-off, with Mack Hansen taking his place.

Speaking ahead of the Tonga game, Ireland coach Simon Easterby confirmed the clean bill of health and said he’s “hopeful” that Henshaw and others like Dave Kilcoyne, who missed the Romania game, will be available for selection this week.

Jack Conan was the only player who trained away from the squad today as he continues his return from injury but he’s reportedly not far off full fitness.

“I’d say we haven’t ruled anyone out for next week. We’ll certainly assess more people today and tomorrow,” Easterby said ahead of the clash with Tonga

“It’s usually the case that things are maybe flagged 24, 48 hours sometimes after a game as opposed to straight after the night of the game.

“So as far as we are aware everyone came through pretty unscathed, so it was great in that respect in terms of getting players game time in the heat, the conditions.

“We’re hopeful that Robbie and others who haven’t taken part for whatever reason are available to us  and that’s credit to the guys conditioning the boys and also the medics, the way that they’ve worked over the last few weeks in particular.

“At the moment we’re in pretty good shape.”

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