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Marmion is back in the Ireland panel

 

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Kieran Marmion

Kieran Marmion

©INPHO/James Crombie

Kieran Marmion

Kieran Marmion looks set to return to the Ireland squad for the first time since his starring role in the win over the All Blacks in November.

Joe Schmidt assembled his panel at their Kildare base last night as they stepped up preparations for their remaining Six Nations games against France and Wales.

Marmion is expected to replace his Connacht colleague Caolin Blade in the squad, with Dan Leavy also primed to be named for the first time in this window as he comes back from a calf problem.

The scrum-half underwent ankle surgery at the end of the autumn series and, after two games for Connacht, has been deemed fit enough to be included.

Schmidt will be hopeful of having Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander, Robbie Henshaw and Tadhg Beirne available, while James Ryan, Rory Best and Cian Healy should come back into the team.

Belfast Telegraph