Change Of Plan

Snow forces Schmidt's squad to move training to Abbotstown

Ireland’s Kildare training base remains coated in thick snow after last week’s severe weather.

THE FOOTPRINTS OF the Beast from the East have given Ireland’s preparations a speedbump today as Joe Schmidt’s squad were forced to move training out of their Maynooth base.

While roads around Carton House have been made passable, several inches of snow remain on the grass and so the squad will make the short trip east to the IRFU Sevens pitch in the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown this afternoon.

Efforts to clear the training pitch in Maynooth were already under way this morning and the union hope the team will train on their regular patch from tomorrow.

Schmidt’s squad had to travel through the remnants of Storm Emma last night as they reconvened in Maynooth ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland.

“It was getting here yesterday (that was difficult),” said Keith Earls.

“It wasn’t too bad getting out of Limerick, but when we got to Straffan it was like a different world.

“We can’t do anything about it. We are heading out to a new training pitch now. We’ll just get on with our work.”

Though the IRFU medics issued a positive injury update signalling full schedules for Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson, the loss of Chris Farrell to training-ground injury last week remains a blow to, not only Schmidt’s midfield options, but Munster’s too.

Earls however, has developed the ability to take an even-handed approach to difficulties the sport deals out.

“That’s rugby, it can be sky-high one week and then you’re in the dumps another week.

“Chris is a great fella, he’ll take the positives out of it. He’ll go away and rehab, hopefully he doesn’t get any bigger, he’s big as it is.

“It was devastating for him, coming back from France, he’s been playing so well for Munster, getting capped in November and his first Six Nations game, man of the match. It just shows, mentally, it’s a cruel sport.”

Furlong and Henderson to train fully as Daly and Herring join Ireland squad

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