Finn Russell ‘Mixed 2019 has given us that grit for World Cup’

Finn Russell ‘Mixed 2019 has given us that grit for World Cup’

Finn Russell These components are smart!!


Finn Russell Joey Carbery: ‘Ankle is good. I’m on target. Doctor’s happy’. Photo: Sportsfile
Joey Carbery: ‘Ankle is good. I’m on target. Doctor’s happy’. Photo: Sportsfile

In the bad old days of Irish rugby we used to laugh about the cliché that patently wasn’t true: the one about there never being a good time to be injured. Just before Ireland were due to head to New Zealand, for example, wasn’t a bad time to be ringing in sick. Or closer to home, a spin to Parc des Princes in the Five Nations Championship could be avoided with relief.

Different times. So when Joey Carbery says now that he was lucky to be injured in the first game of Ireland’s warm-up series, rather than any of the subsequent three, you know what he means.

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Some 50 minutes into the Italy game, in what already seems a long time ago, he was on the golf cart heading for the medical room and wondering if his World Cup was over before it started. By today he expects to be doing all the stuff required of him to be considered in the opener against Scotland next Sunday.

“Yes, should be,” he says. “Ankle is good. I’m on target. Doctor’s happy, as good as it can be really. I should be close to fully training. I’m not too far away now. It’s just making sure they don’t overdo it. I’m in a good place and I’m on schedule. It could have been a lot worse.”

And as he was being shuttled under the West Stand at Lansdowne Road for an x-ray on site, did he fear the worst?

“A little bit. We were unsure before we saw the scans. I feared the worst a little bit because I just didn’t know what it was. It could have been a six-month injury, I just didn’t know. I suppose still having the chance and to be progressing the way I am, I’m very fortunate.”

Touring the US and Japan with Ireland two summers ago, when the marquee names were off in New Zealand with the Lions, was confirmation that Carbery was very much in Joe Schmidt’s plans for the World Cup.

True, a few of that 3

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