Ireland begin the defence of their title exactly one month from today, which means it’s time to take a serious look at who’s going to be available for selection come February 7th.
Robbie Henshaw: Henshaw will have a scan on his injured hand next week. Expected back in mid January. Hopefully will be match fit for Wales but remains a doubt.
Jared Payne: A foot injury has kept him out since last October but has made good progress and may return in the next fortnight. Probably won’t be match-fit in time for the Wales game.
Donnacha Ryan: The second-row picked up a minor knee injury in late December but Anthony Foley expects him back within a week or so. Should be fit and ready for Wales.
Cian Healy: Had minor knee surgery in early January but should be back by the end of the month. Will probably lose out to Jack McGrath but should be fit and ready for a spot on the bench.
Peter O’Mahony: Picked up a serious knee injury against France and still undergoing rehab. May return by end of competition, but highly doubtful.
James Cronin: The Munster prop is out of action for four weeks, according to the province. Would have been a good shout to make the squad. Doubtful Schmidt will risk it now.
Ian Henderson: Serious hamstring injury ruled him out for the season.
Tommy Bowe: Picked up serious knee injury against Argentina. Still undergoing rehab, will play no part.