Ireland centre Garry Ringrose. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Garry Ringrose 'progressing nicely' as Ireland turn attention to Italy

Andy Farrell’s side take on Italy in Dublin on Sunday.

IRELAND ARE HOPEFUL of having Garry Ringrose available for selection for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with Italy in Dublin [KO 3pm].

The centre missed the opening round defeat of France with a shoulder issue, returning home to Dublin before the squad left their Portugal training base for the Friday night clash in Marseille.

However Ireland attack coach Mike Catt says Ringrose is ‘progressing nicely’ ahead of Sunday’s meeting with the Azzurri at Aviva Stadium, while Calvin Nash, who trained with strapping on his right thigh today, and Hugo Keenan are both expected to be available despite picking up knocks against France.

“Calvin, Hugo, Ringer is coming through nicely,” Catt said.

“He obviously didn’t train today, but he is progressing nicely. We will see how they pull up over the next couple of days.

“There are a few guys obviously with a few bumps and bruises from Friday night. There are a couple that are still rumbling around.

“We will make our decision (later), but we are pretty confident that everybody will be fit to train fully tomorrow and obviously selection on Friday. There are a few bumps and bruises, but we are alright.”

Oli Jager has also been training with the squad in Abbotstown this week. The Munster prop was part of the group for the pre-Six Nations training camp in Portugal but returned home ahead of the France game.

oli-jager Oli Jager. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Ireland made a dream start to their Six Nations campaign with a five-try, record win in France, and Catt felt the team could have been even more clinical at the Stade Vélodrome.

“Obviously scoring five tries… I think it was just the balance of it, we mauled well, we scored some good maul tries, we played to width quite nicely too. The variation was good.

When you look at it in the cold light of day there were quite a few opportunities, could have made it a little bit easier for ourselves. 

“When you are playing against a French side like that it’s not an easy thing to do. We are pleased but like the start of every competition you’ve always got something to work on so we’ll keep striving for our potential.”

The win leaves Ireland in a strong position to defend their Six Nations title and potentially become the first team to win back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era.

“Andy has always spoken about the next performance, that’s been the key thing,” Catt said.

“From the players’ point of view, too, the Grand Slam will take care of itself if we perform to a level we are capable of performing. 

“It’s making sure we put our focus on that and don’t worry about the external noise.”

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