Joe Schmidt has added three new faces to the Ireland squad this week as he prepares for the visit of Wales to the Aviva Stadium this Saturday.
Irish fans will be delighted to see Garry Ringrose back in the squad for the first time since the summer tour to Japan. Given Robbie Henshaw's Championship ending shoulder injury against Italy, it was hoped that Ringrose would return in time for Wales. The Leinster centre has not played since January with an ankle injury.
He returned to full training late last week with Leinster, which unfortunately came too late for him to feature against the Scarlets on Saturday. The lack of game time means it's unlikely that Ringrose will figure against Wales, and will be aiming for a return for the Scotland and England games in March. Chris Farrell is likely to start in the centre for Ireland, alongside Bundee Aki.
The injury Luke McGrath picked up in that win over the Scarlets also means that Ulster scrum-half John Cooney has been called up to the squad this week. Munster hooker Niall Scannell, who was involved in the training camp in Athlone last week, has also been called up again.
The IRFU released a statement today confirming the additions to the squad.
The squad reassembled at their Carton House base in Maynooth yesterday evening. A couple of players picked up knocks over the weekend in the Guinness Pro14 resulting in some additional players being brought in to augment the squad that prepared for the opening two rounds of the Championship.
Niall Scannell, who partook in the 48hr training camp in Athlone, will again train with the squad following an elbow injury to Rob Herring in Ulster's game against Edinburgh.
John Cooney will also train with Ireland this week following the knee injury sustained by Luke McGrath in Leinster's game against Scarlets.
Garry Ringrose comes in to train with the squad following the injury to Robbie Henshaw.
Tadgh Furlong, Iain Henderson and James Ryan are progressing well through their respective rehab programmes.
The Wales game has come too quick for Sean O'Brien who continues to train with Leinster in his attempts to make it back by for the last two games of the competition following recent hip surgery.