Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell told the province’s website yesterday how he had to leg it from his house in Cahir to Limerick to pick up some boots and gear before making for Carton House and duties with the Ireland set-up.
The wonder is that O’Donnell and every other fit professional rugby player with Irish qualifications isn’t sitting by the phone with the car running right now such is the rate of playersbeing lost to injury by Declan Kidney’s side.
Chris Henrybecame the latest to check in to thecasualty ward yesterday after an MRI scan confirmed to team doctors that the Ulster back row had suffered a cartilage tear to his knee during the province’s defeat of Zebre last Friday.
It is expected Henry will be out for four weeks which, if accurate, would see him miss the remainder of the Six Nations campaign.
Jonathan Sexton, Gordon D’Arcy, Simon Zebo and Mike McCarthy had already been crossed off the duty roster since the defeat to England last Sunday week while Paul O’Connell, Stephen Ferris, Richardt Straussand Tommy Bowe are long-termabsentees.
Add in Cian Healy’s ban and the precarious nature of Ireland’s health ahead of this weekend’s date against a newlybuoyant Scotland in Edinburgh is all too evident even if such an attrition rate opens doors for others such asMunster’s Clanwilliam back row.
O’Donnell was part of the U20 Ireland squad which claimed the Grand Slam in 2007 and he figured for the Wolfhounds for last month’s 14-10 defeat to the England Saxons at the Sportsground.
He was joined in the Ireland team base last night by Leinster out-half Ian Madigan who owes his late invite to a niggling groin strain which has left Connacht centre Dave McSharry unavailable this week. That Madigan himself sat out of training with Leinster yesterday afternoon with a minor ailment of his own seems all too apposite given the spate of injuries which has afflicted the national side.
IRELAND SQUAD: Rory Best; Darren Cave; Tom Court; Sean Cronin; James Coughlan;Keith Earls; Luke Fitzgerald; Declan Fitzpatrick; Craig Gilroy; Robin Henshaw; Jamie Heaslip; Iain Henderson; Paddy Jackson; Rob Kearney; David Kilcoyne; Ian Madigan; Luke Marshall; Fergus McFadden; Conor Murray; Sean O’Brien; Donncha O’Callaghan; TommyO’Donnell; Brian O’Driscoll; Ronan O’Gara;Peter O’Mahony; Eoin Reddan; Mike Ross; Donnacha Ryan; Lewis Stevenson; Devin Toner.
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