Ireland head coach Andy Farrell on Monday named a 23-man training squad for a two-day camp at the end of this week, making a further 13 wider squad members available for their provinces ahead of a crucial weekend of Guinness PRO14 derbies.
The four players injured during the 48-10 Guinness Six Nations win over Italy in Rome at the weekend are part of the retained squad with Jordan Larmour (hip flexor), Tadgh Furlong (ankle), Dave Kilcoyne (Head Injury Assessment), and Ronan Kelleher (ankle) set to continue their recovery under the supervision of the national medical team. The quartet will be further assessed later in the week.
With Munster hosting Connacht at Thomond Park on Friday night, Farrell has allowed newly-capped scrum-half Craig Casey to rejoin Johann van Graan’s squad following an impressive Test debut off the bench at Stadio Olimpico. Also re-joining Munster will be fellow backs Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, and Chris Farrell. Daly also started Munster’s away win at Cardiff Blues last Friday.
Andy Friend will welcome back Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane, and Dave Heffernan for Connacht’s preparations as they bid to stop their rivals from securing top spot outright on Friday night and a place in the PRO14 with two games to spare. Aki kept Connacht’s hopes alive of reeling in Munster with a match-winning try at Benetton on Friday night.
Stuart McCloskey and Tom O’Toole will be returning to Ulster ahead of Saturday night's visit to Kingspan Stadium from Leinster, who will have Ed Byrne, Ross Byrne, Rhys Ruddock, and Josh van der Flier available from the Irish bubble and looking for game time.
Ireland’s 23-man squad will participate in the two-day mini-camp on Thursday and Friday at the IRFU High Performance Centre at the Sports Ireland Campus in west Dublin with a fit-again Conor Murray among them having recovered from a hamstring strain which caused him to miss the France and Italy games.