Ireland refuse to rule D'Arcy out
March 15, 2010
Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy has not been ruled out of their Triple Crown decider with Scotland © Getty Images
Ireland have refused to rule centre Gordon D'Arcy out of contention for their Triple Crown showdown with Scotland at Croke Park on Saturday.
The Leinster midfielder suffered deep bruising above his left knee and was forced from the field in the first-half of Ireland's comfortable win over Wales on Saturday. His progress is being monitored by the Irish medical staff, while Keith Earls is also expected to be fit.
The Munster utility switched from wing to centre following D'Arcy's injury and finished with a brace of tries but has been treated for tightened calf muscles. Flanker David Wallace received an accidental scratch to the eye and is on course to start in the back-row.
The game will be Ireland's last at Croke Park before their switch to the newly-renovated Aviva Stadium and they could secure a grand farewell with their fifth Triple Crown since 2004.
"For us Saturday is a final. Being a bit older than the players I came through two decades when we never won anything," coach Declan Kidney said. "We're playing Scotland next week in a one-off Test match which we see as a final.
"The GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association] have been hugely supportive of us while we've been at Croke Park and maybe we can pay them due respect by playing our last match here as if it's a final. The Scots are known for ruining Irish parties and they'll want to do that once more. The great thing about the Six Nations is that no two games are ever alike and they all present different challenges."
Concerns remain for Scotland following a head knock suffered by flanker Kelly Brown in their draw with England while tight-head Euan Murray, centre Nick De Luca (both shoulder bruising), wing Max Evans (leg bruising), fullback Hugo Southwell (calf) and fly-half Phil Godman (shoulder joint/chest wall bruising) were also receiving treatment from the Scotland physiotherapists.
"Kelly is now subject to the usual return to play protocols that are in place following such an injury," team doctor James Robson said. "He will be monitored on a daily basis."
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton