Ireland have been counting the cost of their bruising battle with Wales throughout this week.
In the aftermath of the game between Ireland and Wales last weekend, it was clear for everyone to see that both teams were shattered as they left the field.
The cost to Ireland was particularly high, with doubts surrounding the fitness of Johnny Sexton, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo persisting throughout this week. Although the Irish fly half has been cleared to play, the latter two players have not recovered in time for this weekend’s clash with France.
Indeed it would seem that the entire Irish squad have been feeling the effects of their physical encounter with Wales, after Joe Schmidt revealed in the Irish Independent that his side had only trained for 95 minutes this week.
We trained for 32 minutes on Tuesday and we trained for 63 minutes today and we’ll be very limited in what we do in our captains run.
As a result, that’s the sum of our preparation for a huge test match because we can’t afford to slip up.
While there can be no doubt that Guy Noves’ French team will look to take full advantage of Ireland’s lack of preparation time, more importantly, it once more raises questions as to the merits of allowing teams so little time between games.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena