Schmidt expected to release those needing game time for provincial duty

Dan Tuohy hopes to be back in action in time for Ulster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens at Ravenhill

 Dan Tuohy leaves the field after breaking his forearm after coming on for Paul O’Connell on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Dan Tuohy leaves the field after breaking his forearm after coming on for Paul O’Connell on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho


Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is expected to excuse a number of players from

a mini-camp in Clonmel tomorrow and Thursday in favour of playing for their provinces in RaboDirect Pro12 matches at the weekend.

The New Zealander has already indicated Leinster’s Fergus McFadden would benefit from game time and he must decide if that’s also the case for other members of the bench for the Wales game like Isaac Boss, Paddy Jackson, Jack McGrath, Seán Cronin, Martin Moore and Tommy O’Donnell.

One player who misses out is secondrow Dan Tuohy who underwent surgery on the fractured arm sustained after coming on for Paul O’Connell in the victory over Wales.

He tweeted: “Op this morning. Ulster hospital have been great. Gutted to miss the rest of 6Nations but there’s a game in eight weeks.”

The latter is a reference to the province’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens in Belfast on April 5th.

Jonathan Sexton won’t be travelling to Clonmel as he returned to Paris yesterday. He doesn’t expect to start Racing Metro’s home game against Bayonne on Saturday but may be required to sit on the bench.

If not, he’ll attend the Irish camp.

It is also anticipated a number of players recently sidelined through injury may return to competitive action ahead of Saturday-week’s Six Nations match against England at Twickenham.

Tommy Bowe is to be included in Ulster’s squad for their clash with the Scarlets at Ravenhill on Friday night, for the first time since damaging his groin.

Ulster have announced the refurbished Ravenhill will be officially opened ahead of the league game against Leinster on May 2nd.

Ireland manager Michael Kearney last week intimated Leinster duo Luke Fitzgerald and Eoin Reddan might return for Friday night’s game against the Newport Gwent Dragons at the RDS, while another long term casualty, Munster’s Donnacha Ryan, could be ready for Saturday’s match against Zebre at Musgrave Park.

Munster chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald will speak to the media at lunch-time today and will be expected to offer an update on the process of finding a successor to coach Rob Penney and assistant Simon Mannix.

Anthony Foley, the former Munster and Ireland number eight and current forwards’ coach, has seen his candidature roundly endorsed by current and former players, while Ian Costello has been touted as part of the coaching ticket in recognition of his excellent work as a backs’ coach.

Munster’s Billy Holland has signed a new two-year contract while secondrow Ian Nagle will join Newcastle Falcons on a three-month loan.

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