Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Jared Payne unlikely to start in Cardiff after suffering bruising in Ulster return

But Rob Kearney came through training this morning and reported no further issues with his groin.

JARED PAYNE IS unlikely to be in contention to start Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Wales on Friday night after he sat out today’s squad session at Carton House.

Jared Payne Payne sat out this morning's session with bruising. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Ulster centre returned to action for the first time since November in the northern province’s win over Treviso on Friday but missed training this morning because of bruising.

The problem is, however, unrelated to the kidney injury which kept the 31-year-old out for the last four months.

With just one further session between now and Wednesday’s team announcement, it’s highly improbable Payne will be able to force his way into Joe Schmidt’s plans ahead of Garry Ringrose.

“He felt pretty good on the weekend. Pretty sharp,” Simon Easterby said of Payne.

“But he has been a long time out of the game and so we have been pretty comfortable with what we have picked so far and we’re happy with the guys who have been playing in those positions.

“For Jared it is great to have him back around and hopefully we will see him train on Wednesday and then we will take it from there.”

Asked whether Payne is still in the plans for the trip to Cardiff, Easterby added: ”Yeah, it’s bruising. It’s nothing worse than that. He has been out for a long time and some players will take a little bit more to recover from games, especially when they have been out for so long.”

Simon Easterby Simon Easterby speaking at this afternoon's press conference. Source: Marcus Sheridan/INPHO

And with the Henshaw-Ringrose partnership evolving nicely, Easterby admitted that the latter has done little wrong to lose his place anyway.

“We can all say how impressed we have been with Garry,” the forwards coach continued.

“He is a young man in years but he certainly looks like he is playing beyond those years in terms of his understanding of the game, his awareness.

“He is an intelligent rugby player, he sees things that a lot of players can’t see and guys who have been around a lot longer than him. We’ve known for a long time, as have all of you, that he is something special and he hasn’t done too much wrong.”

Payne — who marked his return by playing the full 80 minutes as well as scoring a try in Belfast last Friday night — was one of four players absent from Ireland’s squad session this morning, with Tiernan O’Halloran, Joey Carbery and Dan Leavy also standing on the sidelines after playing for their provinces at the weekend.

Rob Kearney did, however, take a full part and came through training after suffering a groin injury in the win over France.

Schmidt will definitely be without Andrew Trimble and Connacht’s Ultan Dillane who were both ruled out of the rest of the championship with hands and shoulder injuries yesterday.

“It takes a quality player out of the equation,” Easterby said of Trimble’s loss.

“You want as much depth in those positions [back three] as you can. It means that you are one less to choose from. The quality that we have in that position [wing] is pretty good at the moment but taking someone like Andrew out of the equation means that we are losing a quality player.”

Source: The42 Rugby Show/SoundCloud

Subscribe to The42 Rugby Show podcast here:

Mike McCarthy leaves Leinster for Racing Club de Narbonne

Pro12 intermission brings a different challenge for Cullen after perfect four-game block

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next: