herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Practice has to be truly perfect for Healy and Moore

Nathan White
Nathan White

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek did not rule out the possibility of naming two props, Cian Healy and Martin Moore, who have not played any minutes this season, in the World Cup squad.

The official announcement of the 31-man group is expected to be unveiled at lunchtime on Tuesday.

There has been concern over the time-frame for Healy, undoubtedly a special case, as he works his way back from neck surgery.

Moore's shoulder surgery has delayed his introduction and offered up opportunity for Nathan White to parachute into the party.

"All of those things we'll be discussing. We'll weigh it up," said Feek.

Healy and Moore are still very much in the shake-up with Healy almost certain of his place and Moore a beneficiary of his past production.

"We've a really good medical staff and strength and conditioning staff, who need to be able to implement game-like situations for them which is keeping them progressing.

"We know all of these guys now and what they can do, the players themselves are pretty honest with where they're at too.

"Putting all of that together, we'd be pretty confident when they make a decision."

As it stands, Mike Ross is a shoo-in for tight-head, while Jack McGrath is nailed on at loose-head.

Outside those, Michael Bent's versatility to man both sides of the scrum makes him a viable option.

White will be given his head in his first start against Wales with Tadhg Furlong set for his debut off the bench.

"The boys have trained really well. Whitey has been with us quite a bit during the pre-season. He wasn't initially. But he's been with us pretty much the whole time.

"And Tadhg, I've had a lot to do with him."

"Whitey, last November, he missed out. He was all ready to go and then got that injury. He deserves it and Tadhg does as well."

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