Ireland look set to lose their third choice captain for the Six Nations clash with Scotland at AVIVA Stadium. The Ulster hooker damaged ribs in the clash with France in Paris.
Keith Earls, Seán O’Brien and Donncha O’Callaghan have all been unable to train this week with injury and may not now be able to train until Friday.
Second choice captain Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray were ruled out on Monday after sustaining championship-ending injuries in Paris, leaving Ireland’s thin resources at breaking point ahead of their final two games of a thus far disappointing campaign.
Ireland management refused to confirm Best as captain at a press conference on Tuesday, so there is clearly doubt as to his availability. He did however make a miraculous recovery from a shoulder injury for Ireland’s clash with Wales at the World Cup so it is thought that he will wait until Friday’s (third choice) captain’s run before a final decision is made on his fitness.
Such is the fragile nature of the squad’s health that kicking coach Mark Tainton confirmed there would be only one “major” training session in the week leading up to the clash with the Scots. Tainton stated his belief that the players would not be missing out however because: “We have been together for six or seven weeks at this stage.”