Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell spoke to the media this afternoon at the team’s base in Carton House and he provided an injury update ahead of the eagerly-anticipated clash with the All Blacks on Saturday.
With Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray ruled out of the rest of the series, Ireland have been sweating on the fitness of Garry Ringrose, Rob Kearney, Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion.
Ringrose and Kearney were both ruled out of the clash with Argentina at the weekend. Ringrose injured his hip last Tuesday which ruled him out of the clash with Los Pumas while Kearney has been out since picking up a shoulder injury for Leinster playing against Benetton in the PRO14.
Marmion and Aki rolled their ankles in the victory over Argentina but Farrell confirmed this afternoon that all four players trained today and are in contention for the weekend.
“Yeah [everyone trained], other than the lads you already know about, but yeah everyone took the field and some of the lads are progressing well,” Farrell said
Farrell continued, “all trained, all trained. Full session and obviously we’ll take stock of that over the next 24 hours but on the right track.”
That news will be a huge boost for Ireland, especially when it comes to Kearney as his experience at fullback will be vital against the All Blacks.
“Anyone would be happy to have Rob Kearney in the squad. The experience alone of what he has been through and obviously the experience of playing against New Zealand before, he’s key to any squad.
“I think we’ve got some good grounding behind Rob as well, and people ready and willing to step in if needs be.”