Jared Payne back in Ireland mix for Six Nations conclusion

Jared Payne back in Ireland mix for Six Nations conclusion

Jared Payne has moved a step closer to a surprise Six Nations appearance after returning to Ireland's training squad.

The 31-year-old centre had been all-but ruled out of the tournament owing to a serious kidney injury suffered in November but fought back to action for Ulster last weekend.

Now head coach Joe Schmidt has named Payne in his squad to prepare for the final two Six Nations clashes, with Wales and England.

Payne's return could hand Ireland a significant boost in their bid to secure a winner-takes-all final weekend showdown with England in Dublin on March 18.

Ireland's backline defensive captain would doubtless shore up Schmidt's side's rearguard approach if recalled to the starting line-up to face Wales in Cardiff on Friday, March 10.

Ireland must now weigh up whether Payne will be ready to return in Cardiff after a three-month lay-off, or to keep faith with Garry Ringrose at outside centre.

"The guys that have battled for us in the last few weeks certainly have to be rewarded," said Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek, earlier this week.

"Jared has obviously got a huge amount of respect from the coaching staff and players.

"I know the players have a lot of respect for him as well so it's our duty to see how he's going."

Payne suffered his injury in Ireland's 27-24 win over Australia in Dublin on November 26.

Fit-again Leinster fly-half Joey Carbery returns to Ireland's squad ahead of Munster's Ian Keatley, with Ulster centre Luke Marshall also named in a 36-strong training squad.

Also included in the squad is Connacht's Ultan Dillane, despite being left out of Ireland's initial team announcement.

Carbery had missed the first three rounds of Six Nations action with an ankle problem.

Ireland squad for final two Six Nations matches against Wales and England

Forwards: R Best (Ulster, capt), J Conan, T Furlong, C Healy, J Heaslip (all Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), I Henderson (Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), J McGrath, S O'Brien (both Leinster), T O'Donnell (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), Q Roux (Connacht), D Ryan, J Ryan, N Scannell, CJ Stander (all Munster), D Toner, James Tracy (both Leinster).

Backs: J Carbery (Leinster), A Conway, K Earls (both Munster), C Gilroy (Ulster), R Henshaw (Leinster), P Jackson (Ulster), R Kearney (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), L Marshall (Ulster), L McGrath (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), T O'Halloran (Connacht), J Payne (Ulster), G Ringrose, J Sexton (both Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), S Zebo (Munster).

More on this topic

France's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with WalesFrance's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with Wales

Stuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year runningStuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year running

Rankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half placeRankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half place

There are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championshipThere are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championship

More in this Section

Bennett bids to bring hot streak into Vuelta debutBennett bids to bring hot streak into Vuelta debut

Roger Federer feeling better than ever heading into US OpenRoger Federer feeling better than ever heading into US Open

Wolves boss Nuno dismisses burnout fears amid busy scheduleWolves boss Nuno dismisses burnout fears amid busy schedule

Anna O’Flanagan hits crucial winner as Ireland get vital win over BelgiumAnna O’Flanagan hits crucial winner as Ireland get vital win over Belgium


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Romantic florals to 1970s chic, fun femininity to gothic grunge —we showcase the top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas, with a focus on the most exciting and diverse designer labels.Coming at you: The top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner