Jamie Heaslip to remain in Irish camp

Number eight will not play against England but stays with Ireland squad to rehab back injury

Roger Wilson of Ulster(above) and Billy Holland of Munster have been added to the Irish squad. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Roger Wilson of Ulster(above) and Billy Holland of Munster have been added to the Irish squad. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

The Irish management remain cautiously optimistic that Jamie Heaslip will be available to play against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Ireland’s fourth game of the Six Nations.

The Irish number eight suffered three fractured vertebrae following a cynical knee to the back by French Lock Pascal Pape during Ireland’s win in Dublin, which earned the French player a yellow card and a 10-week suspension.

Heaslip will certainly miss this weekend’s match against England in Dublin although he remains, unlike several other injured Irish players, at the Kildare based camp with the rest of the Irish squad.

“Jamie Heaslip is rehabbing his injury in camp,” said Irish manager Mick Kearney this afternoon. “At this stage it is too early to say when he will be available to play (against Wales).

“He’s just in and he’s working with the physios and the medics but very little. He wasn’t out in the pitch this morning. We couldn’t say at this stage when he will be available.

“He has just come in to work with the medical team. No other reason,” added Kearney. “The hope would be that he will be back for the Wales game.

“It was initially diagnosed as a four to six week injury. Four weeks would put him back into contention for the Wales game to the day so that would certainly be the hope but it really is far too early to say. He’s got a lot of progress to make before we can be more certain on it.”

Ulster’s Roger Wilson and Munster’s Billy Holland have been added to the Ireland 36-man squad ahead of the game against England at the Aviva Stadium. Both can play in the backrow.

Other players have come back into the Irish camp with varying degrees of injury but none of them serious. Ulster’s Iain Henderson suffered a dead leg and some bruising around the knee but he is expected to train fully this week.

Try scorer against Italy in Ireland’s first match of the championship, Tommy O’Donnell, was another to come back injured after a bang to the head.

“Tommy O’Donnell suffered concussion at the weekend and is progressing through the return to play protocols,” said Kearney. “Kieron Marmion suffered shoulder bruising and will stay in Connacht to continue his rehab. Both Robbie Diack and Nathan White suffered back spasms and they will rehab in their respective provinces.”

One piece of good news was that Leinster and Ireland hooker Richardt Strauss has recovered from his head injury and is back in camp.

“Richardt Strauss has completed his return to play (concussion) protocols and is available to train fully this week,” said Kearney.

Irish squad:

Forwards (19)

Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)

Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)

Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)

Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)

Billy Holland (Cork Constitution/Munster)

Mike McCarthy (Leinster)

Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)

Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)

Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)

Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster)

Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)

Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)

Dominic Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)

Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Roger Wilson (Ulster)

Backs (17)

Isaac Boss (Terenure/Leinster)

Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)

Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)

Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)

Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)

Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)

David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

Ian Keatley (Young Munster/Munster)

Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)

Jared Payne (Ulster)

Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)

Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)

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