Ireland likely to face Wales without Henshaw and van der Flier 7 months ago

Ireland likely to face Wales without Henshaw and van der Flier

This Guinness Six Nations championship has put some stress on the reigning champions' squad.

Joe Schmidt was asked the now inevitable questions after Ireland kept their title hopes alive by beating France. "Any injury news? How is everyone?"

"Not too bad," Schmidt began before his answers revealed he may be down another body for the Wales game.

"Josh Van Der Flier, got twisted awkward, we'll know more about that in the next couple of days. But we wanted to get him off just knowing what we've got coming with the have a six-day turnaround.

"It was a really good opportunity for Jack Conan to get out there. He was initially planed to start against Italy. So he did a good job."

(Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

One hopes the injury was not too serious for van der Flier, who missed a chunk of last season after tearing two ligaments against France in Paris. Jack Conan replaced him today and scored a try in Ireland's 26-14 win.

There was better news on Rob Kearney, who was a late withdrawal from the starting XV, but Robbie Henshaw's dead leg is still keeping him out of action.

"I think Rob Kearney will be a really good chance," Schmidt began.

"He just had calf tightness yesterday. It gave Jordan an opportunity to come in today.

"Look, I'd be surprised if Rob wasn't training on Tuesday, or Wednesday, depending on when we next train. That will depend how the recovery goes, tomorrow and Tuesday.

"Robbie Henshaw would be less of a chance. Robbie is recovering but it's slower than expected.

"It [the dead leg] has just unfortunately lingered. It's a long, long time ago since I played but I had one. And in some situations it's almost impossible to get rid of it fast. You just have to let it recover in its own time."

Dan Leavy was ruled out of the France game early last week and it would be a stretch to see the flanker coming in having not played since the turn of the year.

As it stands, Ireland may go with a back row of CJ Stander, Peter O'Mahony (openside) and Jack Conan for the game in Cardiff next weekend.