| 17.3°C Belfast

Kidney hoping for strength in depth


Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney hopes Ireland are now beginning to benefit from their attempts at building a squad with genuine depth.

Ireland head to Rome for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy in the midst of an injury crisis that has claimed nine players capable of making the matchday 22. Yet they have selected just one uncapped player, Leinster winger Fergus McFadden, for their trip to the Stadio Flaminio.

Kidney insists that since completing the Grand Slam in Cardiff in 2009, Ireland have embarked on a mission to increase their pool of players, and said: "When we beat Wales two seasons ago we always felt it was great, but we were the first to acknowledge we had an awful lot of luck with injuries."

He added: "When you've been in the game for a few years you know that you need to build a squad.

"We're very fortunate that we have 19 or 20 of the players who played two years ago still with us.

"Now we have another crop of 20 guys to come through and we're starting to see the advantage of competing in the Churchill Cup.

"You never like to see fellas injured but other players have picked up experience and hopefully we're starting to benefit."

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required

Top Videos