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Knee problem rules Munster's Conway out of Ireland's opening Six Nations games

Schmidt says the injury isn’t serious, but the winger will miss the games against France and Italy.

Conway was struggling with the injury in training this week.
Conway was struggling with the injury in training this week.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ryan Bailey reports from Carton House

ANDREW CONWAY HAS been denied the chance to continue his excellent form in an Ireland jersey after an inflamed knee ruled him out of contention for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against France.

The Munster winger is also set to miss next weekend’s clash with Italy at the Aviva Stadium, but Joe Schmidt insists the problem is not serious and should be back fit and available for the round three visit of Wales later this month.

Conway, who started all three of Ireland’s November Tests, had been struggling in training this week and misses out on a place on the bench at the Stade de France with Fergus McFadden named in the number 23 jersey.

“Andrew Conway is managing a knee that’s inflamed, he’ll probably be out for this week and next week, but it’s certainly nothing serious,” Schmidt said.

“Then he’ll springboard back into that as well.”

After making his debut in the final round win over England last year, Conway has featured five times since and really seized his chance last Autumn when his Munster team-mate Keith Earls was ruled out through injury.

Schmidt also played down any concern over the fitness of Rob Kearney after the fullback was spotted chatting with the Irish physio during this morning’s squad session at Carton House.

“He’s 100%. Yep. It might just have been passing the time, I’m not sure,” the head coach said.

“I’ve had no feedback from Rob or the physios that he’s anything but 100% ready to go.”

Ireland flew to Paris this evening and will finalise preparations for the campaign opener tomorrow morning when they have their pre-match captain’s run at the Stade de France.

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