IRELAND'S CALL Andy Farrell: 'There are bigger things than finishing the Six Nations'
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will accept whatever government measures are brought into place, amidst fears that Nphet's Level 5 recommendations could spell the end of his side's busy upcoming international period.
It remains to be seen if professional sport could yet be granted an exemption if such lockdown restrictions are implemented, as Farrell insisted that his Ireland squad will continue to do whatever they can, in order to ensure that their games are permitted to go ahead.
Ireland entered their 'bubble' on Wednesday, as they began preparations for next week's Six Nations resumption against Italy in Dublin.
Every precaution necessary will be made in a bid to finish off the elongated campaign, as well as competing in next month's Autumn Nations Cup, but Farrell acknowledged that the worrying continued spread of Covid-19 was a far more pressing matter.
“There are bigger things than finishing the Six Nations,” Farrell said, via an online press conference this afternoon.
“If that is what the government feels is needed for the health and the safety of the country, then we are more than happy to follow that.
“But obviously we will be doing everything we possibly can to make sure we keep our side of things nice and clean and we will wait for the advice.
“I suppose we are pretty lucky that all of the boys have been in a similar type of process at their clubs for some time now.
“They are used to living with the virus and trying to cope with it and obviously do the right thing by it etc. We have protocols in place and we need to adhere to that.
“We are certainly doing that at this moment in time and we plan to continue with it. We need to ensure we get off the ground against Italy, that we get the game played and obviously we move on to the Six Nations against France.”
Ireland trained this morning and while Farrell was happy to report that it was a high class session, concerns still linger over Johnny Sexton (hamstring), Andrew Porter (hamstring) and Rónan Kelleher (quad).
Farrell's squad are due to train again tomorrow where the fitness of the trio will be further assessed ahead of the Italy game.
“They have got a few protocols to come through, but they are looking good,” Farrell added.
“They trained in a low key session yesterday and got through that absolutely fine.
“We have a decent old session tomorrow and we will see how they go with that. At this moment in time, they are progressing well.
“The players have been brilliant. We have been in camp for two days now. The session that we just finished this morning was high level quality and high level intensity.
“That just shows what it means to be in this situation and how much they are looking forward to a Test match next week against Italy.”