Andrew Trimble injury: Joe Schmidt delivers some good and bad news
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has eased fears over Andrew Trimble's fitness for the World Cup with positive news following a second scan on his foot. The bad news is he is running out of time to prove his fitness.
The 2014 player of the year made his comeback against Wales last Saturday after nine months out with a toe problem, but was taken off after 35 minutes with a fresh complaint.
Initial scans on the injury were inconclusive and now Schmidt has revealed the results of a second scan.
"The second scan was relatively positive. There’s some bruising in the foot and down around the toes. He’s going to start with some light running during next week and we’d hope that he’d be fully fit to be selected for Wales, starting training Monday week.
"The feedback from the second scan is that it's intact and hopefully he’ll be up and running in 10 days or so."
Simon Zebo has played very little rugby for Ireland at full-back but Schmidt is keen for the Corkman to show his versatility.
"He's trained pretty much throughout the week at full back. The versatility that some of these players will need in the back five, it's an opportunity for those to show their versatility and give us confidence that they can play in different positions."
One player who will be looking to impress this weekend is Gordon D'Arcy.
The inside centre will retire after the World Cup but Saturday's game will be seen as crucial if the Wexford native is to earn a place on the plane.
Asked whether his chances boil down to his performance this weekend, Schmidt said: "I think everyone's do, to be honest. We're on tight time frames and everyone is under pressure including the management staff.
"Some players have been training really well and he's one of them.
"He can demonstrate that up against a reasonably experienced pairing."
Other head coaches have already began the process of cutting players from the squad but Schmidt has resisted the urge to rule anyone out.
"We haven't really whittled down the squad. We're trying to get game in to everyone," he added.
"Instead of whittling down, we'll be counting upways to 31 and that will make for some very hard decisions.
"If we can get to 31 and with some decisions extend that to 36 and you'll have a better idea when we pick the squad to play Wales the following week because post that we've pretty much gotta make further decisions."
Belfast Telegraph Digital