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John Cooney and Harry Byrne link up with Farrell's Ireland as injury cover

Injuries to Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton have seen the Ulster and Leinster halfbacks drafted in.

Cooney and Byrne have linked up with Ireland.
Cooney and Byrne have linked up with Ireland.

JOHN COONEY AND Harry Byrne have linked up with Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad as injury cover after Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton were ruled out of tomorrow’s clash with France.

Munster man Murray picked up a hamstring injury late in the training week to rule him out of the Six Nations meeting, while Sexton suffered a head injury in last weekend’s defeat to Wales and hasn’t recovered in time to feature against the French.

Murray’s absence means Jamison Gibson-Park starts and Craig Casey is in line for his debut off the bench, while Ulster man Billy Burns has been named at out-half with Ross Byrne providing cover from the bench.

Farrell has also drafted in Cooney and Harry Byrne as cover, with both players taking part in today’s captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium.

Farrell, like most Test rugby coaches, likes to have specialist cover at scrum-half and out-half for warm-ups in case of any late injuries, so Cooney and Byrne will fill those roles tomorrow.

21-year-old out-half Byrne remains uncapped but is rated as a big prospect by Farrell and his coaching staff, while Ulster talisman Cooney has been out of the picture recently having earned his most recent Ireland cap in February 2020. 

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Murray Kinsella

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