The Latest From Ireland’s World Cup Camp As A Number Of Players Sit Out Training

The road to Japan.

Ireland held an open training session in Thomond Park this morning as Rugby World Cup preparations start to ramp up.

Joe Schmidt’s side have been focusing heavily on strength and conditioning over the last few weeks before they get set for a block of rugby work ahead of their warm-up fixtures.

Johnny Sexton did not have his hand strapped today, with his thumb injury healing well. But the outhalf sat out training as a precaution with Ireland coach Simon Easterby describing him as a “frustrated watcher.”

“Johnny sat out with his thumb and he’s a frustrated watcher, like most of the players are,” Easterby said.

Bundee Aki pulled up with a problem during a sprinting drill and received some attention, but thankfully was able to finish out the rest of the session.

Keith Earls took no part today, while the likes Rory Best, Tadhg Beirne, Josh van der Flier and Will Addison took a minimal part. But Easterby isn’t concerned, with player management key at the moment.

“All are pretty good. There are obviously times when players need to be managed a little bit, whether they have niggles or just off the back of last season that they have to manage themselves.” Easterby said

“But, on the whole, everyone is working really hard and it’s a good group to be around at the moment.”

“There’s a heavy workload through the week and sometimes players just need to be managed through a session like that. If they haven’t done the pitch session, they’ll always do something slightly different but no less easy.”