VIDEO: Ireland's campaign goes south
INJURY UPDATE: Ireland’s hopes of bouncing back from a demoralising loss to England suffered a triple blow.
Garry Ringrose and Devin Toner will miss Ireland’s Six Nations clash in Scotland on Saturday due to injury.
Leinster centre Ringrose picked up a hamstring complaint and Leinster lock Toner aggravated an existing ankle problem in last Saturday’s 20-32 Dublin defeat to England.
Ireland will also be without star loose forward Christiaan Stander, who will miss the match with a facial injury.
The absence of Leinster line-out specialist Toner will prove the biggest miss to boss Schmidt and Ireland.
Wing Keith Earls, who was replaced at half-time with a hip issue, trained on Tuesday.
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“The Ireland team trained today [Tuesday], as preparation continues for the game against Scotland in Murrayfield on Saturday,” said a statement on the IRFU website.
“Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek confirmed that Garry Ringrose and Devin Toner have been ruled out of the fixture.”
The 32-year-old Toner has only missed six Test matches since Schmidt took the helm in November 2013, with the Kiwi coach drawing heavily on his set-piece acumen.
Ireland approached this year’s Six Nations appearing in a position of strength at lock, but were struck by injuries to Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne before the tournament even kicked off.
Ulsterman Henderson’s finger problem and Munster star Beirne’s knee complaint thinned Ireland’s locking stocks and Toner’s absence will heavily test Schmidt’s squad depth.
Connacht’s Quinn Roux looks set to slot into Ireland’s second row alongside James Ryan then, with Ultan Dillane poised to take a seat on the bench.
Munster lock Billy Holland has also been added to Ireland’s squad this week as further cover.
Ringrose’s absence will tempt Schmidt into shifting Robbie Henshaw back into the centres, after the Leinster star struggled with his move to full-back in last weekend’s England loss.
Munster’s Chris Farrell and Ulster’s Will Addison are further midfield options for Schmidt, while Rob Kearney could return at fullback.