Leinster injury doubts over Tadhg Furlong and Garry Ringrose

Prop’s potential return to Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations squad now in jeopardy

Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong: was only promoted from the Leinster Academy in to the senior squad as recently as the 2014-15 season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong: was only promoted from the Leinster Academy in to the senior squad as recently as the 2014-15 season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Things have not gone Tadhg Furlong’s way this week. The Ireland prop, who played for 16 minutes against Wales and 17 minutes in Stade de France, rolled an ankle against Zebre playing for Leinster at the weekend.

In the constant dice roll of game time against injury, his number didn’t come up the way he wanted it to in Parma. Overlooked by Joe Schmidt, Furlong, like backrow Jack Conan, had higher hopes for the Six Nations. Both are injured, with Conan hurting an ankle before the Zebre match and outside centre Garry Ringrose also shipping a bang on the leg during the game.

While Leinster do not seem to be overly concerned, Furlong’s place this weekend with his club and potentially for Ireland against Italy in Dublin on March 12th could be in jeopardy. The ankle, wrapped in a moonboot, is a wait-and-see situation.

Tadhg Furlong rolled an ankle, so he’s going to be assessed as the week goes on to see how he goes,” said Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty.

“Garry Ringrose got a bang on the leg. Jack hurt his ankle before Zebre. Again, nothing too hectic, and that’s really it.

Realistic view

Furlong is taking the realistic view of being out in the cold with regard to Ireland and with Cian Healy fit again, it was he who shared the bench against England in Twickenham, with Nathan White, tighthead Mike Ross and Jack McGrath starting the game.

“There’s always some disappointment, you can see he’s not delighted to be back here,” said Fogarty. “There’s some disappointment he’s not involved but Tadhg is very realistic and he wants to play week in, week out, so for him to come back here and get an opportunity to play, he’s happy to come back.”

While Furlong is disappointed, there is no need for last year’s World Cup player to panic. The tighthead can also move across and he won’t be 24 years old until November. He was promoted from the Leinster Academy into the senior squad as recently as the 2014-15 season.

Furlong played a role in the two warm-up matches against Wales and England prior to the World Cup and was handed a 16-minute cameo turn against Romania in Wembley.

The logical move forward, which has not quite materialised, was that he would become a regular fixture in the Irish set-up during the Six Nations.

“He is a young prop and there is always a learning curve,” said Fogarty. “There’s different things in that French game as well that were in play in the scrum, so Tadhg will assess that. We’ve looked at it, he’s come back here and he’s performed well for us.”

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