Kieran Marmion provides silver lining in problem scrumhalf position
Joe Schmidt hoping Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan can recover from injuries
Kieran Marmion breaks free to scores his Connacht’s opening try against La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 6. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Joe Schmidt has received some encouraging news with the last scrumhalf standing, Connacht’s Kieran Marmion, fit to train this week with the Irish squad. Keith Earls and Robbie Henshaw are also cleared to take part in the squad sessions.
Both Munster’s Conor Murray and Leinster’s Eoin Reddan struggling after the weekend’s games in Europe. Reddan, who began the final pool game against his old club Wasps with his knee strapped, damaged medial ligaments and hopes to be available for the first Six Nations match in Rome, while Conor Murray is scheduled to have scans later this week for a problematic disc in his neck.
Dave Kearney, who departed Leinster’s game against Wasps after a high tackle left him with a shoulder injury, will be monitored during the week.
Wasps flanker Ashley Johnson is expected to be cited for the tackle that earned him a yellow card when he took Kearney illegally as he was fielding the first aerial ball of the match.
Both prop Cian Healy and flanker Sean O’Brien are with the Irish squad at Carton House, while it was confirmed that Munster’s Dave Foley has damaged ligaments in his wrist and he will have a surgical consultation this week.
Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip will be rested from contact this week as he nurses an injured shoulder. But the news was not so positive for Heaslip’s backrow colleague, Rhys Ruddock. The Leinster flanker did not join up with the squad this week at their training base and will continue his recovery from a broken arm with Leinster.
England have called up flanker Tom Croft and lock Christian Day into their training squad as cover for injury concerns Tom Wood and Geoff Parling. Wood (ankle) and Parling (knee) picked up injuries in European action for Northampton and Leicester at the weekend. Backs Brad Barritt (knee), Kyle Eastmond (shoulder) and Owen Farrell (knee) are also being assessed.