Ireland lose forwards coach Smal
February 24, 2012
Gert Smal is suffering from an eye infection © Getty Images
Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal will take no further part in the Six Nations because of an eye condition.
Anthony Foley, assistant coach at Munster, has been drafted in to replace the South African for the remainder of the championship. Head coach Declan Kidney, speaking at Friday's press conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Italy, insisted the change will cause minimal disruption to Ireland's Six Nations.
"Unfortunately Gert fell ill earlier in the week," said Kidney "He had a pre-existing eye condition from many years back - I don't have full medical details but they are a private matter anyway - and it means he is ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations.
"We have called in Anthony Foley and we have the blessing of Munster to do that. He will work with the forwards along with (scrum coach) Greg Feek. Gert is a very well-prepared man. It's an unfortunate situation but the prep work has been done so it won't hinder us overtly."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry