Joe Schmidt is excited to see Chris Farrell in action against Scotland having revealed that Robbie Henshaw could have played had Ireland not boasted a ready-made replacement.


Ireland coach Schmidt has brought Farrell into the team’s centre pairing as the defending Six Nations champions look to bounce back from last week’s defeat to England.

Garry Ringrose injured his hamstring in Dublin, leaving a vacancy alongside Bundee Aki. Henshaw had been tipped to move from full-back, but his own ailment – a dead leg – will see him sit out.

Schmidt later confirmed that Henshaw could have been used at a push, yet he welcomed the opportunity to bring Farrell into the side.

Farrell returned to the Ireland team in November following an anterior cruciate ligament injury and he has since been in inspired form for Munster.

“It’s just a bit of aggravation after having a knock,” Schmidt said of Henshaw. “It’s a knock on top of a knock.


“It does make it difficult; the problem is he maybe could have played. But if you get another bump on it, it debilitates you quickly and then you have to make another change.

“Once Garry Ringrose was ruled out, it was going to be trying to keep a little continuity as best we can and get as cohesive as we can in a short space of time.

“You’ve got Chris Farrell sitting in the wings, massively motivated to do his best. It’s a great opportunity to get him in.

“We’re just going to have to forge ahead, but it’s an exciting opportunity to give Chris Farrell a run against Scotland. He’s coming back to form after a long lay-off.”


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