Joe Schmidt Confirms Why Andrew Conway Is Missing From His Ireland Team

Sidelined.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named his Ireland team for their Six Nations opener with France in Paris this weekend.

Cian Healy gets the nod at loosehead ahead of Leinster teammate Jack McGrath who starts on the bench. The other big call sees James Ryan start in the second-row alongside Ulster’s Iain Henderson.

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Josh van der Flier has been handed the tough task of filling Sean O’Brien’s boots, but can take confidence in the fact that he’ll be joined by two Lions in the back-row, with Peter O’Mahony at six and CJ Stander at eight.

The backline is as expected with Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale on the wings, Aki and Henshaw in the centre and Murray and Sexton at halfback. Rob Kearney gets the nod at fifteen, with Fergus McFadden on the bench.

There’s no sign of Andrew Conway in the squad, with many questioning why he is there ahead of McFadden. Especially given his ability to play on the wing or at fullback.

But it’s now been confirmed that Conway is suffering from an “inflamed knee” and is set to miss out this weekend and likely the Italy game at the Aviva next week.