Joey Carbery has not been ruled out of Ireland’s summer tour to Australia.
Munster confirmed earlier this month that their out-half would miss the remainder of this season when, while already sidelined with a wrist injury, he underwent surgery on the ankle problem which hampered his World Cup and more.
The province went as far as to say that the Athy man was expected to return to training this summer for the start of pre-season.
“Well, we’ll see,” said Ireland head coach Andy Farrell when asked if the two-test trip Down Under was a possibility. “We certainly won’t throw him back in if he’s undercooked, but if he is going great guns by then he’s in the frame like anyone else.”
Carbery managed a total of just 32 minutes for his province this season, across two interpro games at the turn of the New Year.
He made just four appearances for Ireland, the first when he damaged his ankle in the World Cup warm-up against Italy: “I’m gutted for Joey,” said Farrell who is clearly mindful of the need to get the player fully fit after two seasons of injury torment.
“He’s been through a lot over the last few seasons, but I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and his luck will turn. It will.
“He needs to do the right thing and get himself fully fit and we’ll make sure that we help Munster to try and make that happen. But his luck will turn and he’ll be back. He’s a great human being for one, and he’s a class player as well.”
Farrell was also upbeat about the progress being made by the Leinster pair of Dan Leavy and Jack Conan. Leavy has been out for almost a year now with a serious knee injury. Conan is rehabbing a foot broken on duty in Japan late last year.
“We hope to see them back sooner rather than later,” said the Ireland head coach.