Joe Schmidt names three players that could return against Wales 3 weeks ago

Joe Schmidt names three players that could return against Wales

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has said that James Ryan, Keith Earls and Jack Conan could all make a return for next weekend's Rugby World Cup warm-up match with Wales.

Ireland were defeated 57-15 by England on Saturday  in their second warm-up match, but a first for a lot of their regular starters, with Eddie Jones' side running in eight tries to two in a demolition at Twickenham.

It was the worst defeat Ireland have ever suffered against England and Schmidt said after the game that he'd be looking to make some changes for next Saturday's trip to Cardiff to play Wales.

"I think we will bring in a few next week for sure," said Schmidt in his post-match press conference.

"Then there are probably one or two that we might look to bring in again for the final game. We have a little bit of a plan because some guys are operating on a pre-season that's just coming to a close and then they'll freshen up and get into the game next week.

"We'd look at guys like James Ryan and Jack Conan. There's a few guys that could come into the picture next week and probably bring a bit of energy that we were lacking today.

"I think also guys like Keith Earls, those sorts of guys, we still feel will come in and add some value."

Schmidt said that Ireland had taken on a heavy workload during their pre-season but he added that he was confident that they could bounce back given that Wales and Scotland rebounded from their first warm-up defeats.

"Inevitably it hurts right now. That's a big score to offer up and there are some elements of the process that we know aren't nearly good enough," added Schmidt.

"[Rory] Best has been talking about the line-out but I felt our first two scrums were really good. I was really disappointed to get penalised as we did. I felt the first scrum we were very legal and he set it and it came up, but we were certainly dominant.

"There were a couple of things that I think there were a little bit of promise in but to miss 34 tackles, to be sluggish and getting ourselves organised... I knew we'd be a little heavy legged, I knew that it wouldn't be perfect today because we had had a big workload, but I think you saw that with Wales in their first match and then the next week they managed to topple them.

"Scotland managed to topple France today because they weren't quite ready the first week. You do get a bit of that but it doesn't happen automatically."