Joe Schmidt Explains His Reasoning Behind Dropping Jack McGrath For Cian Healy

Joe Schmidt has named his Ireland team for this weekend’s RBS Six Nations clash with Italy.

The Ireland boss has made two changes to the side that were beaten by Scotland on the opening day, with Cian Healy coming in for Jack McGrath and Donnacha Ryan coming in for Iain Henderson in the second-row.

Ryan’s inclusion doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Munster man was expected to start last weekend, only to pull out last minute with a knee problem. The towering lock is a welcome addition to the pack, and will no doubt show his worth in the line-out and at the breakdown.

The surprise change sees Cian Healy come in for Jack McGrath in the front-row, who was one of Ireland’s better players on Saturday, but Schmidt has said it’s nothing to do with performance as this was planned all along for the Italy game.

“It was probably something we planned to do anyway, just to rotate those two.” Schmidt said.

“One plays 50, one plays 30 and vice versa so they they both get 80 minutes over the first two weekends.”

“They both bring similar things, but slightly different things, and should both get an opportunity at starting”

Sound logic from Schmidt.

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