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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 18 July, 2018
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Kilcoyne links up with Ireland in Sydney after Addison joined camp last week

Ireland insist that Cian Healy has responded well after an AC injury last weekend against the Wallabies.

Murray Kinsella reports from Sydney

MUNSTER LOOSEHEAD PROP Dave Kilcoyne has joined the Ireland squad in Sydney and trained with Joe Schmidt’s side on Tuesday morning.

Ireland insist that Cian Healy has responded encouragingly to the AC injury that forced him off in the second half of last weekend’s win over the Wallabies in Melbourne, but Kilcoyne’s presence in Sydney suggests there is concern over Healy.

Dave Kilcoyne Kilcoyne has joined Ireland in Sydney. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Jack McGrath, who came off the bench in Melbourne, is the only other loosehead prop in Schmidt’s squad, although Andrew Porter came through the underage ranks as a loosehead before making the switch to tighthead in the last 18 months.

Ireland assistant coach Simon Easterby said Kilcoyne “was travelling” in Australia before linking up with the squad.

“He has been in for just today,” said Easterby. “He’s not been made officially part of the squad.”

Asked if 22-times capped Kilcoyne could come into consideration for Ireland’s matchday squad for the final Test against the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, Easterby didn’t rule it out.

“He’s not been officially named in the touring party, but he is available as he’s Irish-qualified.”

Healy did also take to the pitch at this morning’s training session at the North Sydney Oval, although it’s unclear how extensive a part he played in training.

Dan Leavy was “managed” after being forced off at half-time of last weekend’s win with a sternum injury, while Andrew Conway sat out most of the training session having suffered a hip pointer injury while scoring an early try in Melbourne.

Keith Earls was one of the other players managed by Ireland early in an important week.

“Cian trained, Dan we managed a bit but he did some stuff,” said Easterby. “Andrew is still carrying quite a nasty hip pointer but the way they’ve presented themselves 48 hours post-game is very encouraging.

“We’re pretty happy with the availability of training today but also the way the players have shown up today and even the guys that have carried some serious bumps from the weekend are looking far better than expected.”

Sale Sharks v Wasps - Aviva Premiership - AJ Bell Stadium Will Addison linked up with Ireland last week. Source: David Davies

While Kilcoyne has linked up with Ireland this week in Sydney, there was an interesting visitor last week in Melbourne in the shape of the Ulster-bound and Irish-qualified back Will Addison, who Ireland say was in the city visiting his sister.

It’s understood Schmidt played a role in luring the 25-year-old to Ulster ahead of next season and his involvement at Ireland training last week suggests he has a strong chance of breaking into the national set-up in the future.

Addison, who can play in midfield or the back three, was club captain at Sale Sharks up until the end of the season and his signature is something of a coup for Ulster.

“In Will’s case, he was over visiting family and he had an opportunity to come in,” said Easterby. “I guess when you’ve got someone who’s moving to Ulster and is Irish-qualified and we had the opportunity to get him into the squad was good, and for the players to meet him.

“It was quite a useful time for him and for us to see him in action.”

While Ireland will wait on the injury status of several players this week, it does seem likely that they will make changes to their matchday 23 for the final Test, enforced or otherwise.

“I think there will be some changes, whether that’s the starting team or the bench,” said Easterby.

“There’s always going to be an opportunity through a three-Test series, not only through injury but also through our need to try and get some exposure for some of the more inexperienced players on a tour like this.

“We’re not that far out from a World Cup and this has been a great tour for us to get to know players who we are maybe not that familiar with and get some game time and training time with those players.”

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Kilcoyne links up with Ireland in Sydney after Addison joined camp last week

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Murray Kinsella

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