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Heaslip remains with Ireland squad as preparations for England intensify

Munster’s Billy Holland and Roger Wilson have joined up with Joe Schmidt’s group this week.

Heaslip was inured in the clash with France in round two.
Heaslip was inured in the clash with France in round two.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT HAS added Munster’s Billy Holland and Roger Wilson of Ulster to his Ireland training squad this week, as Jamie Heaslip remains with the group at Carton House.

Schmidt this afternoon named a 36-man training squad to prepare for Sunday’s Six Nations fixture against England, with Heaslip included in that list despite other injured players being highlighted as “[n]ot considered due to injury.”

Kieran Marmion, Nathan White, Robbie Diack and James Cronin have all remained with their provinces this week to rehab from their injuries, say the IRFU.

Heaslip is certain to miss this weekend’s meeting with Stuart Lancaster’s England, but the hope remains that the number eight will be fully recovered from the three fractured vertebrae in time to face Wales on 14 March.

Speaking at Carton House this afternoon, team manager Mick Kearney was vague with detail when asked about Heaslip’s progress.

“He’s just in and he’s working with the physios and the medics, but very little,” said Kearney. “I can’t really say [what he's been working on]. He wasn’t out on the pitch this morning, so I’m not exactly sure what he is up to.

“We couldn’t say when he will be available; it is just tough to stay at this stage. He’s just come in to work with the medical team, no other reason than that. The hope would be that he would be back for the Wales game.

Roger Wilson Roger Wilson has joined up with Joe Schmidt's squad. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It was initially diagnosed as a four to six week injury. Four weeks would put him back in contention for the Wales game, to the day. That would certainly be the hope but it is far too early to say. He’s got a lot of progress to make before we could be certain about it.”

Having played 60 minutes of Racing Métro’s draw with Clermont in the Top 14 on Saturday, out-half Johnny Sexton has happily reported back for Ireland duty fully fit.

Johnny looks great,” said Kearney. “He came in last night, trained fully this morning. All systems go with Johnny. Everybody trained this morning.”

Meanwhile, Kearney reported that Ulster’s Iain Henderson had suffered a dead leg and some bruising around the knee over the weekend, but is expected to train fully this week.

“Tommy O’Donnell suffered a concussion at the weekend and is progressing though the return-to-play protocol,” added Kearney.

“Richardt Strauss has completed his return-to-play protocols and is available to train fully this week.”

Ireland squad for round three of the Six Nations:

Forwards (19)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike McCarthy (Leinster)
Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Roger Wilson (Ulster)

Backs (17)

Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)
Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)
David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)
Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Jared Payne (Ulster)
Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

Not considered due to injury

James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster)
Robbie Diack (Malone/Ulster)
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht)
Nathan White (Galwegians/Connacht)

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Murray Kinsella

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