Ireland pull Moore from Leinster duty with prop in precautionary moon boot

The tighthead prop has experienced some foot pain and Joe Schmidt is being cautious.

MARTY MOORE WILL miss Leinster’s pre-season clash with Ulster this evening at Kingspan Stadium (KO 7.30pm) on a precautionary basis, as Joe Schmidt and the Ireland backroom staff look to ensure he is fit to feature in the World Cup.

The42 understands that Moore has been wearing a protective ‘moon boot’ in recent days after suffering some pain in his foot.

IrelandÕs  Martin Moore Moore was an important part of Ireland's Six Nations wins in 2014 and 2015. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

The 24-year-old tighthead prop had been set to play a part in Leinster’s friendly meeting with Ulster after completing his rehabilitation from a bout of shoulder surgery at the end of last season.

This new setback is believed only to be minor, with Ireland wrapping Moore in cotton wool on the basis that he is seen as the back-up to established first-choice tighthead Mike Ross.

Indeed, the expectation is that Moore will still play a part in at least one of Ireland’s two remaining World Cup warm-up fixtures, against Wales in Dublin on 29 August and versus England on 5 September.

With the World Cup less than a month away, it appears Schmidt felt it prudent to hold Moore back from Leinster’s clash with Ulster tonight even though the player himself is presumably eager to get game time under his belt.

Moore hasn’t played since Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat to Toulon last April, when he dislocated his shoulder.

The tighthead was Ross’ back-up for the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations successes, appearing off the bench in all 10 of the games across the course of both championships.

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Martin Moore, Rory Best and Mike Ross celebrate with the trophy Moore with Rory Best and Mike Ross after this year's Six Nations win. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Schmidt is believed to value Moore’s ability at the breakdown, ball-carrying energy and his relative mobility in defence, as well as his set-piece solidity. Furthermore, the fact that Moore has been able to play 20 or 30-minute stints off the bench has allowed Ross to expend his energy into 50 or 60-minute blocks as the starter in the number three shirt.

Nathan White made his debut against Scotland last weekend as a replacement for Ross, playing around half an hour, while Michael Bent provides Schmidt with a strong squad option in potentially covering both sides of the scrum.

Tadhg Furlong has been struggling with a thigh injury, however, and he will also miss Leinster’s meeting with Ulster.

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Murray Kinsella

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