Ireland fullback Hugo Keenan. Billy Stickland/INPHO

Keenan and Ringrose step up rehab ahead of trip to Twickenham

Both players were involved in today’s open training session at Aviva Stadium.

IRELAND ARE INCREASINGLY hopeful of having both Garry Ringrose and Hugo Keenan available for next weekend’s trip to play England at Twickenham, with both players involved during today’s open training session at Aviva Stadium.

Ringrose took a full part in today’s session as he steps up his recovery from a shoulder issue, while Keenan went through a lengthy solo session with the IRFU’s rehab specialist Einar Einarsson behind the goal-line as he looks to return from a knee issue.

The fullback did some sprint work before completing a series of movement drills with no obvious issues, before joining the main group for some fitness work.

Oli Jager took no part in training today as he recovers from a knee issue, while Ryan Baird also sat out the session due to a back spasm. Iain Henderson was the other absentee, with the lock rehabbing a foot injury back at Ulster.

Yet with Ringrose and Keenan both pushing for inclusion in London next weekend, Ireland look primed to bring a near full-strength squad to Twickenham.

“Garry and Hugo and the main two that are coming through nicely, so we’ll see how the weekend progresses,” said Ireland attack coach Mike Catt.

“Garry trained with us today, which is good. It’s nice to have him back, he’s progressing nicely.

garry-ringrose Garry Ringrose during today's opening training session. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

“He’s done a couple of unit sessions, so I suppose yeah, [today was his] first full session in terms of doing absolutely everything. He’s been running with us in the past couple of weeks as well. He’s progressing nicely, so fingers crossed he comes through.

“Hugo did a little bit on the sideline and then did the fitness with the boys so he’s progressing really nicely.

“Hugo’s slowly ticking along nicely. Hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday he’ll be training fully and give us that opportunity. We need that competition in the team for us to drive forward.”

Should Keenan not pass his markers to feature against England, Ciarán Frawley would likely continue at fullback after impressing against Wales last weekend.

The versatile Leinster back was a try-scorer on his first Test start and Catt feels the 26-year-old is “just tapping the surface” of his potential.

“Gats [Warren Gatland] was saying they were going to bombard him with high balls, I don’t think they got many opportunities to do that. He was very safe, a great line for his try.

“The nice thing with Frawls is his rugby ability and his ability to fit into the way we play the game. Again, he’s just tapping the surface. I think he’s got a lot more to offer.

“He’s a big man, a powerful guy, and he’ll develop as he goes. A brilliant footballer and you couldn’t ask for much more from him.” 

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