Ireland head coach Andy Farrell had a full squad at his disposal for training today as preparations ramped up for this Saturday’s resumption of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.
Ireland face Italy behind closed doors at Aviva Stadium in a round-four game postponed from March 7th due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it provides an opportunity for Farrell’s side to rebound from a round-three defeat in England last time out on February 23rd.
A bonus-point victory over the Azzurri on Saturday, the only game in the championship this weekend, would send Ireland to the top of the standings with a game to play and all teams involved in the following week’s final round.
Munster duo Peter O’Mahony and Chris Farrell have now joined the 35-man Ireland squad after completing their periods of self-isolation following a positive Covid-19 test for two of their provincial team-mates.
They will also be joined by Leinster wing James Lowe, who becomes available for selection after the conclusion of the outstanding Six Nations games and qualifies for Ireland under residency rules in time for next month’s Autumn Nations Cup.
Lowe was part of a group of players invited to train with the Ireland squad last week but an IRFU squad update issued on Monday said the New Zealand-born wing would remain with the squad at Carton House and continue to train at the IRFU High Performance Centre in Abbotstown.
The rest of the invitees have returned to their provinces ahead of this weekend’s round of Guinness PRO14 games with Craig Casey and Fineen Wycherley rejoining Munster while Harry Byrne, James Tracy, and Dave Kearney, who was not originally named on the initial list of non-squad trainers, have gone back to Leinster.