MUNSTER CENTRE SAM Arnold has joined Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad for training at Carton House this week.
Ireland today stated that they have no new injuries in their 36-man squad, with centres Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell all present at training.
Instead, Ireland say Schmidt and his coaching staff saw this week as an opportunity to give Arnold exposure to the international set-up, as well as taking a closer look at the promising centre.
21-year-old Arnold played for Ireland at U20 level having come through the Exiles system to join Ulster’s academy.
Qualifying for Ireland through his Wexford-born mother, Arnold went on to make 14 senior appearances for Ulster but opted for a move south to Munster in the summer of 2016 in search of more game time.
Though injuries limited Arnold to just a single senior cap for Munster in his first season, he has impressed during the current campaign after regaining full fitness.
A powerful presence in midfield, Arnold made his first two Champions Cup appearances in Munster’s 13 shirt against Leicester in December, helping the province to back-to-back wins against the English side.
He was red-carded for a high tackle on Christian Lealiifano in Munster’s Guinness Pro14 defeat to Ulster on New Year’s Day but has been excellent under new head coach Johann van Graan.
While his call-up to the Ireland training camp this week may be unlikely to lead to a first cap during the Six Nations campaign, it does bode well for the promising midfielder’s future.
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