Six Nations: Garry Ringrose set to be fit for England clash

Backs coach Mike Catt optimistic that Hugo Keenan might be back in training next week

Garry Ringrose appears on course to be fit for Ireland’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations match against England at Twickenham next Saturday week after taking part in the squad’s open training session with Under-20s at the Aviva Stadium today.

Backs coach Mike Catt also sounded reasonably optimistic that Hugo Keenan might be back training next week even though he was restricted to fitness work due to the knee injury which ruled him out of Ireland’s win over Wales.

“Garry Ringrose trained with us today, which is good. It’s nice to have him back. He’s progressing nicely. Hugo did a little bit on the sideline and then did the fitness with the boys so he’s progressing really nicely.

Catt said that Ringrose should be fit for Twickenham game “fingers crossed” while he added of Keenan: “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.”


Ryan Baird did not train due to a back spasm while Iain Henderson continued his rehab with Ulster and Oli Jager was also absent due to a “bang on the knee”.

If Ringrose is in the mix, it will give Andy Farrell, Catt et al a huge selection poser given the form in Ireland’s three wins to date, for as he said himself: “I think Stu McCloskey has been exceptional too, and then you’ve got Garry Ringrose knocking on the door, he doesn’t want to give them any other opportunity either, so that competition is driving these guys to another level, and that’s the exciting thing.

“I thought against Italy, Stu and Robbie as a pair worked exceptionally well, and Bundee. The pressure is on and it’s good you have guys like that that can play at that level at that pace.”

Open sessions have become an annual and popular custom during a fallow week in the Six Nations, for spectators and squad alike.

“It’s brilliant, it’s fantastic. Again, it’s inspiring the nation that Andy’s always said and always spoken about and the boys have done a pretty good job. It does definitely give the boys a bit of a buzz on a down week, to come and perform in front of the crowd, and I think the crowd love it too. It’s great, to get a day off school and watch the boys play and train.”

Asked what could be done to improve the atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium on match days, Catt said:

“It’s not for me to say to be honest, we get on and do our little bits and pieces. It’s been mentioned before, so hopefully something’s going to be produced in the near future.

“When the crowd do get going, I know our away support has been unbelievably good, especially at the World Cup. It’s something that everybody needs to address I suppose, and we’ll see what happens.”

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times