Joe Schmidt On Whether Or Not Jamie Heaslip & Jared Payne Could Feature In The Six Nations


Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt believes there’s a good chance we could see both Jamie Heaslip and Jared Payne play for Ireland during next year’s Six Nations.

Heaslip has been out with a back-injury since the Ireland vs England Six Nations game back in March, while Payne has been suffering from migraines since the Lions tour back in July and is yet to feature for Ulster this season.

Schmidt says Heaslip’s rehab is coming along nicely, while Payne is close to returning for Ulster. He says there was even plans for Payne to potentially feature for Ulster over the weekend, meaning he’s very close to getting back out on the field.

“I spoke to Jamie recently and he’s rehabbing along, and I certainly wouldn’t discount it at the moment,” Schmidt said after the Argentina game.

“I wouldn’t discount Jared either. I haven’t spoken to Jared since the start of the Guinness Series. I spoke to him just prior to that and he felt he was making good progress.

“I actually thought that he was potentially going to play, the plan was that he might play this weekend.

“They’ve obviously put that back a bit but he’s incredibly influential when he plays for us.”

Given the competition in the back-row and the form of both the centres and fullbacks, do you think either Heaslip or Payne would make the current Ireland squad?

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