IRELAND COACH JOE SCHMIDT will not be able to call on winger Luke Fitzgerald or hooker Richardt Strauss for the upcoming Six Nations game with England.
Leinster forwards coach Jonno Gibbes gave a positive fitness update on Isaac Boss, who took a knock in Friday’s league win over Dragons, but could not deliver the same for Fitzgerald or Strauss.
Boss was driven forcefully into the RDS turf by Dragons prop Tetaz Chaparro, who received a red card for the offence. Gibbes said, “His initial prognosis was positive but I think they’re going to take the time and have a look around, give him a day or two off.
“It certainly didn’t look good but Bossy what is back on his feet, smiling away after the game.”Source: RaboDirect PRO12
Fitzgerald has been hampered by a groin injury and was withdrawn from the Ireland squad ahead of the Six Nations opener with Scotland. Strauss has attended Irish squad training at Carton House to get himself up to speed with calls and plays but the province are easing him back into rugby after his time off last year to deal with a heart condition.
Gibbes commented, “Probably niggly is the status that Straussy and Luke are in. They are not fully comfortable so you don’t want to push them. [Luke's] is a niggly injury that could turn into a major. We’re probably being a little bit more conservative with those guys.
“They did the bulk of the training last week. Thursday morning when we did the walk-through ,there still a little bit of pain for both of them so it was decided to take them both out of the match. That caused a little bit of a disruption because they had done most of the training with the team thinking they’re going to play but is a frustrating part of the rehab.”
“They are so close but we would probably air on the side of caution with both of them.”
– Audio courtesy of 98FM