Joe Schmidt Provides Fitness Updates On Iain Henderson & Tadhg Furlong

One week too soon.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says Iain Henderson probably could have played this weekend against Wales. But he says they did not want to risk the lock given what’s still to come in the Six Nations.

There’s another rest week after round three, before Ireland welcome Scotland to Aviva. A week later they then face England at Twickenham. Schmidt says they didn’t want to risk injury, and that Henderson will definitely be back for the Scotland game.

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“Iain (Henderson) was definitely the closer of the two.” Schmidt said

“He could probably play on Saturday, but he wasn’t able to complete training today, and we’re not going to risk him.”

“I just don’t think it’s worth it with what’s coming up (Scotland and England).”

“And also you don’t want to put a player at risk of further injury.”

“I think he (Henderson) could definitely play next weekend, and certainly the weekend after that (Scotland) he will be fine.”

Tadhg Furlong also misses out this weekend. The tighthead prop injured his hamstring in the win over Italy, and has failed to recover in time. Schmidt says he was also very close, but once again is confident he’ll be good to go in a fortnight.

“Tadhg was close as well.” Schmidt added.

“We thought on Tuesday he might well make it. But the progress just stalled a little bit. And we just said no, let’s not chase this.

“Let’s focus on the opportunity for other people (Porter, Ryan). And get him right for Scotland in a couple of weeks time.

Furlong has been replaced by Andrew Porter in the starting line-up, while Devin Toner comes in to replace Henderson.