Joe Schmidt Set To Call Up Uncapped Star As Ireland Rocked By Injuries

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Bare bones.

Ireland may have been boosted by the return of first-choice scrumhalf Conor Murray in recent weeks, but they look set to be down to their bare bones next month in terms of a deputy for the Munster star.

Murray missed Ireland’s clean sweep in November, with Kieran Marmion, Luke McGrath and John Cooney all playing a part as the men in green secured wins over Italy, Argentina, New Zealand and the USA. But all three are in danger of being absent next month.

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McGrath was taken off in the 60th minute of Leinster’s win over Toulouse yesterday, with was was described on the Leinster website as a “worrying leg injury”, while Cooney was a late withdrawal for Ulster’s starting line-up with a back problem.

Marmion meanwhile is a long-term absentee following ankle surgery after the November series. It’s unlikely he will be fit in time for Ireland’s Six Nations opener with England on February 2.

Uncapped Caolan Blade, who has stepped in for Marmion at Connacht now looks like he could be set for a call up by Joe Schmidt, with the Ireland boss likely to pick three scrumhalves in his squad.