Ireland hooker Ronan Kelleher has been ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations while England have welcomed back veteran Courtney Lawes as both nations prepare for the third round of the 2022 championship.
The 24-year-old Leinster rake, Kelleher suffered a shoulder injury during the first half of last week’s 30-24 defeat by France in Paris.
“It is disappointing for Ronan and for us obviously,” said Ireland coach Andy Farrell at a news conference. “Ronan has kicked off his Test career with a bang and evidently the more experience he keeps getting at this level the better he will get.
“Sadly injuries are part of our sport but I hope this experience of being out will also help him down the track.”
Kelleher, who made his international debut in the 2020 championship opener against Scotland, has started his country’s past seven Tests and won 18 caps in total.
Leinster teammate Dan Sheehan came off the bench to replace him at the Stade de France, while fit-again Herring (who has 23 caps) is another option available to Farrell.
“It is positive for us that there is competition for the position,” added Farrell.
Ireland, who began the Six Nations by defeating defending champions Wales in Dublin, return to action at home to Italy on 27 February.
Meanwhile, Lawes has resumed full training with England after recovering from a concussion and is in contention to face Wales at Twickenham.
Lawes missed out on the opening two rounds of the tournament after suffering a head knock playing for Northampton.
With a full training week in the lead-up to the Wales clash ahead of him, the 32-year-old is likely to take over from Maro Itoje at blindside flank, with Itoje moving into the second row.
“I was super impressed with Courtney in the autumn, which was the first time I’d worked with him,” defence coach Anthony Seibold said. “He took over from Owen Farrell as captain when Owen got injured and he did a fantastic job. He leads through his actions.
“One of the things with Courtney is his ability in defence. Everyone can see his athleticism, but what he does off the ball in defence, the little detail around his effort areas, is very high.”
No 8 Sam Simmonds will resume full training after a hip injury limited his involvement in England’s three-day fallow week camp in London.
England lost 20-17 to Scotland in their opening Six Nations match but recovered to beat Italy 33-0.
© Agence France-Presse