Devin Toner's reintegration now total after World Cup blow

The big second row's international career appeared to be all but over when Joe Schmidt cut him loose from the Ireland squad that would travel to Japan for the World Cup but he starts for the first time in six months for his country on Sunday against England in Twickenham.

Devin Toner's reintegration now total after World Cup blow

Devin Toner's return to the fold is now complete.

The big second row's international career appeared to be all but over when Joe Schmidt cut him loose from the Ireland squad that would travel to Japan for the World Cup but he starts for the first time in six months for his country on Sunday against England in Twickenham.

Recalled to the squad by Andy Farrell for this Six Nations, the Leinster veteran has been a replacement in the defeats of Scotland and Wales and the birth of Iain Henderson's baby boy this week has now elevated him to a starting slot for the first time in eleven tests.

Ultan Dillane slides onto his vacated spot on the bench.

"We're delighted for both,” said John Fogarty, Ireland's scrum coach, on Friday afternoon. “Dev missed the World Cup and he's back in now and what a game to come in and start. Away, a Triple Crown on the line, so we're delighted for both of them.

"The way we train, they're integrated the whole time. We want to make sure that the whole group of players are moving forward, so they're primed and ready. It's been a good week and it will need to be because it's a tough task ahead. We're looking forward to it."

Henderson missed two training sessions this week as he returned to Belfast but Toner has been part of Ireland squads for a decade now. Add in his wealth of experience with Leinster and he is a tailor-made replacement at such short notice.

All of the second rows meet to discuss their lineout calls and drills at the start of every match week so the switch should be seamless. Toner will partner James Ryan in the second row and Robb Herring has slotted in effectively to the hooker role vacated by the now retired Rory Best.

Toner had lost out on a place at the World Cup to Munster's Jean Kleyn whose elevation to the squad so soon after qualifying under residency rules did not sit well with some and his popularity was obvious when he was introduced late on against Scotland in round one.

"Yeah, it's brilliant for him, he's bounced back really well. Obviously everyone has setbacks through their career and he had a big one at a bad time for him but he has bounced back well,” said Ireland captain Jonathan Sexton of his Leinster teammate.

“You saw by the reception that he got against Scotland: I've never heard a crowd cheer so loud for a lineout win. We were giving him a bit of stick about it but it just shows what everyone thinks of him. All the lads are delighted for him."

Duncan & Duncan Rugby: John Quill's American odyssey, Munster's West Cork hub, props play darts

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox