Ireland captain Rory Best could miss Saturday’s clash with a stomach bug
Munster’s Niall Scannell would be in line to start should Best fail to recover
Captain Rory Best must shake off a stomach bug to face Italy in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations encounter in Rome.
The hooker has not been ruled out of tomorrow’s Six Nations clash with Italy and the Ireland camp say they are hopeful the 101-cap forward will be fit to start.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 10, 2017
Joe Schmidt’s men lost out 27-22 in Scotland last weekend and must win in Rome to kick-start their tournament.
Vice-captain Jamie Heaslip would take the armband in Best’s absence, but Ireland are clearly giving 34-year-old Best every chance of a recovery.
“Rory has had a bit of a stomach upset overnight, he didn’t sleep particularly well,” said Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby.
“So we’ve left him to rest. You can’t predict that, but we’ve left him back in the hotel when we did the team run.
“Hopefully he’ll be okay with a bit of sleep and rest now. James Tracy will be joining the squad now.”
Ireland entered the Six Nations without 56-cap hooker Sean Cronin, the experienced Leinster man ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring problem.
That has opened the door for the uncapped Scannell to step up, and the 24-year-old from Munster remained an unused replacement in Scotland.