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Healy: Four weeks in a row 'no problem' for Ireland

After a frustratingly uneventful night in Paris, the Irish loose-head is confident that the squad are in ideal condition to tackle test rugby for four consecutive weeks.

Cian Healy:
Cian Healy: "It'll be tough on the body and stuff, but it's nothing your not built and prepared for."
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

WHILE SOME OF his teamates went running back into the freezing Paris air, Cian Healy was enjoying a piping hot shower.

The last minute postponement to Ireland’s Six Nations tie in Paris on Saturday came as much as a surprise to the players as it did the supporters, Healy told Today FM’s The Last Word:

“We didn’t suspect anything, it was only when we were about to walk out onto the pitch that we were told it wasn’t going ahead.”

“We were all fired up in the changing room and the ref (Dave Pearson) walked in and we seen the facial expression on the coaches and him, so we knew it from there.”

Despite speculation all week that the grass would be in a precarious state for the 9pm kick off, Healy admitted that the players remained 100% focused on their regular build up routine. A routine which may have been intensified by the manner of their opening week defeat to Wales in the Aviva Stadium.

When asked how the group felt when the decision was finally confirmed, the Leinster man said:

“It was pretty weird, like. There was a strangely deflated feeling and kind of ‘what do we do with all this built up energy now?’ All sorts of stuff. There was a bit of silence for a while, people going ‘what’s just happened?’ (we were) just trying to digest it.”

“It’s just one of those things you’ve gotta get on with, isn’t it?”

Despite the obvious frustration, Healy would not direct any in the direction of Pearson, who came in for heavy criticism from the FFR for the decision to deem the surface dangerous and unplayable. Healy backed the English referee, saying:

“You respect the decision and that’s the final call. It’s a good way of doing it, I think, having the man in the middle call it.”

A decision for the re-fixed date is due tomorrow afternoon, but it is widely expected that 3 March will be the date for the second attempt.

As things stand, that would force Declan Kidney’s squad to play four top level international tests on successive weekends, a feat usually reserved for World Cup finalists.

Healy, however, is sure that his team mates are up to the job.

“It’ll be tough on the body and stuff, but it’s nothing your not built and prepared for.”

“The lads are all in pretty fine condition. So, once we’ve kept ourselves in good nick throughout, and any bumps and bruises are treated right, as usual, then there should be no problem to be able to do the four in a row.”

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Sean Farrell

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