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Inpho/Billy Stickland
# 6 Nations
Toner and Ringrose ruled out of Ireland's clash with Scotland
Scrum coach Greg Feek hopes to have Keith Earls fit for Murrayfield.

IRELAND WILL BE without Devin Toner and Garry Ringrose for Saturday’s Six Nations round two meeting with Scotland in Edinburgh [KO 2.15pm, Virgin Media One].

Keith Earls, who was replaced midway through the loss to England as he struggled with a hip issue, is expected to be fit.

Toner was replaced in the second half after aggravating an ankle injury, while Ringrose reported a tight hamstring post-match.

“Devin’s ruled out for this week with his ankle and Garry Ringrose also, his hamstring isn’t quite right so he won’t be with us either,” said scrum coach Greg Feek at the squad’s training base in Maynooth today.

“Earlsy’s flying around there, he’s pretty good… being Earlsy, he’s a tough character, he marches on and the medical staff have done a great job with him as well. As they do with everybody.

Feek was hopeful that neither Toner or Ringrose would be ruled out for more than one round of Six Nations action, with free weeks to come either side of the round three trip to Italy.

“We’ve got the fallow week after (Scotland) so it does give us a bit of a window. With the way the S&C department work, they’re incredible in what they do and every year they get better.

“We’ll have to wait and see. Devin’s so tall, with his ankle, he’s got to get his balance back and he’ll be right.”

Toner’s absence means the very recent strength in depth among Irish second rows has been quickly whittled down thanks to pre-tournament injuries to Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne.

“Hendy’s still a wee way away,” says Feek, “he’s got a bit of a reputation for healing quite quickly, but he’s still a wee way away. Tadhg (Beirne) could be right in a couple of weeks, we just have to wait and see. We’ll get an update next week.”

Munster stalwart Billy Holland was called into camp for this week and his line-out smarts will be vital in preparing Ireland for Scotland. Connacht’s Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane are also live options to partner James Ryan in Murrayfield.

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Ireland’s Quinn Roux Inpho / Billy Stickland Quinn Roux making a carry against England. Inpho / Billy Stickland / Billy Stickland

“Quinn did really well at the weekend, he came on and put a couple of big hits in. He’s been leading the line-out in Connacht this year, he’s really progressed there and matured as a player.

“He’s been in our environment since the South Africa tour (2016). Good in the scrum, mauling, as a tight forward he ticks a lot of the boxes.

“Luckily for us, we have good depth there at the moment.”

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