Ireland have delayed naming their team for Saturday's clash with Italy by 48 hours as they struggle to cope with a growing injury list.
Ireland have delayed their team announcement for Saturday's clash with Italy by 48 hours as they struggle to cope with a growing injury list.
Veteran centre Brian O'Driscoll's participation is in doubt after he suffered concussion, a lacerated ear and a dead leg in the 13-13 draw with France.
O'Driscoll's midfield partner Luke Marshall was also concussed in Dublin and is similarly being observed under IRB's concussion guidelines while lock Donnacha Ryan took a knock to his shoulder and will only take part in modified training this week.
Leinster back Fergus McFadden has been ruled out for between three to six weeks with a fractured rib while Eoin Reddan was set for surgery on his fractured fibula and ankle ligament damage on Monday.
As a result, Head coach Declan Kideny will now name his team for this weekend's fixture at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday.
“I asked Brian why he wanted to tackle Vincent Debaty twice – I thought he had more smarts than that,” joked assistant coach Les Kiss.
“He's a warrior who puts his body on the line week in, week out. We know that. It's amazing what he pulls from his reserves.
“I imagine he'll do everything to be available for Italy. He's talking as though he'll be there”
Team manager Mick Kearney blamed the injury crisis on simple bad luck rather than any underlying trend.
“The injury run has been absolutely extraordinary and reminded me of that quote, 'grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented',” said Kearney.
“There isn't an underlying issue. The majority of injuries are soft tissue, which can happen. We've just been unlucky.
“There's no trend and you can't look at it and say we're doing something wrong.”
Good news for Irish fans is the return of fly-half Jonathan Sexton and wing Craig Gilroy while scrum-half Conor Murray has made a swift improvement from his knee problem.