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Sean Cronin set to miss out on Ireland squad for final Six Nations games

Ulster’s Rob Herring is set to come into Joe Schmidt’s extended training squad.

LEINSTER HOOKER SEAN Cronin is set to miss out on being named in the Ireland squad for their closing two Six Nations games against France and Wales.

The 32-year-old started against Italy two weekends ago but struggled on an afternoon when the Ireland lineout was collectively poor.

Cronin was absent from Ireland’s training camp in Belfast last week, having been released to Leinster, and is now set to miss out on being included in Joe Schmidt’s latest extended training squad.

Sean Cronin Cronin is set to miss out to Rob Herring. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Schmidt is due to name his squad tomorrow morning, with Rob Herring expected to come into the group in place of Cronin.

Herring, who has been in good form for Ulster recently and scored a hat-trick in their win over Zebre last month, is set to provide another option for Schmidt at hooker along with captain Rory Best and Munster’s Niall Scannell.

Being omitted will come as a tough blow to Limerick man Cronin, who has earned 68 caps for Ireland but only made his first Six Nations start two weekends ago against Italy. 

A clear first-choice for Leinster, Cronin has struggled to get Ireland starts under Schmidt, making just three before the Italy clash. That said, Cronin has consistently been named in squads by Schmidt and will remain strongly in contention for the World Cup this year.

Cronin must look on from the outside for now, although he will likely retain some hope of featuring with Ireland before the end of the championship in the event that there are injuries in the hooker position. 

Ulster’s Herring, who impressed on Ireland’s tour of Australia last summer, will be keen to take his chance upon returning to the squad.

The fit-again Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander, Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway and Tadhg Beirne are all set to be named in Ireland’s squad for the closing two rounds of the Six Nations, while Joey Carbery – currently rehabbing a hamstring injury – will also be included.

Sean O’Brien, who returned to Leinster last week along with Cronin, is also expected to be named in the Ireland squad.

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Murray Kinsella

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