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James Ryan fully fit while Furlong and Henderson are 'hitting their markers'

Andy Farrell says Ireland won’t take any risks with their tighthead and second row.

SECOND ROW JAMES Ryan has returned to full training with Ireland ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Wales in Dublin.

Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson did not train fully with Ireland today at Carton House and while they are ‘hitting their markers,’ assistant coach Andy Farrell says they won’t take risks with either player.

Leinster lock Ryan was impressive on his Six Nations debut in the win over France in round one, but missed the clash with Italy two weekends ago as Ireland managed his workload after a groin niggle.

James Ryan Ryan is back in full training. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The 21-year-old has returned to full training this week, however, and is “fully fit” for selection against Wales.

Meanwhile, Ireland defence specialist Farrell says tighthead prop Furlong and second row Henderson are ‘hitting their markers’ as they rehab hamstring issues, but neither of them trained fully today.

Furlong was forced off early on in the win over Italy after straining his hamstring, but Ireland are still hopeful of having him fit to face Wales.

“He’s hitting his markers and he’s training well,” said Farrell of Furlong. “He’s not been in full training, he’s been doing a bit-part of stuff and we’ll make a decision on that Wednesday night, Thursday.”

Henderson was replaced at half-time in the Italy clash with what Joe Schmidt described as “tightening in his hamstring and his quad.”

The Ulster lock is also hopeful of being fit for Saturday, although Ireland are waiting to see how Henderson reacts to the last two days of his modified training.

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“Iain Henderson, a bit like Tadhg, is hitting his markers and pushing in the right direction,” said Farrell. “We’ll assess how he pulls up after two hard days of training.”

Iain Henderson Iain Henderson suffered tightness in his hamstring and thigh. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Should Furlong be ruled out with his hamstring issue, Schmidt and Ireland will turn to John Ryan or Andrew Porter at tighthead, while Devin Toner and Ryan seem likely link up in the second row if Henderson doesn’t make it.

“There’s not a risk, we wouldn’t take risks,” said Farrell. “We back the squad that we’ve got, the full squad we’ve got, we’ve got quality players across the board. We’ll make the right decision come Wednesday or Thursday.”

Ireland have three new faces in their Six Nations squad this week, with Niall Scannell, John Cooney and Garry Ringrose replacing the injured Rob Herring, Luke McGrath and Robbie Henshaw.

Munster’s Chris Farrell is expected to slot in at 13 in Henshaw’s absence, but Ringrose did return to Ireland camp today after training with Leinster yesterday.

“He’s looking great,” said Farrell of Ringrose. “I actually said to him, ‘Have you put a bit of weight on?’ He’s looking in great nick. It’s good to have him back, he cut us open a few times in training like he normally does.

“He’s short of game time, obviously, but he’s a class player and he slotted straight back in today.”

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