Six Nations 2017: Ireland's Jared Payne unlikely to feature against Wales

Jared Payne
Jared Payne returned to action as a late replacement in Ulster's Pro12 win over Zebre on 26 February
Six Nations: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Friday, 10 March Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary via the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app

Jared Payne is unlikely to feature in Ireland's crucial Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff on Friday after missing training on Monday.

The Ulster centre returned to the Ireland squad for the Six Nations' final two rounds after recovering from kidney damage sustained in November.

Payne, 31, played all of Ulster's 19-7 Pro12 win over Treviso on Friday night.

But he sat out Monday's session owing to new bruising so Garry Ringrose is set to continue at outside centre.

Full-back Rob Kearney completed Monday's session with no ill effects, so should now be ready to start in Wales after shaking off a hip complaint.

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby revealed on Monday that Jared Payne, Tiernan O'Halloran, Dan Leavy and Joey Carbery all "stepped out of training today with a few bumps and bruises".

"Jared has bruising, it's nothing worse than that. He has been out for a long time and some players will take a little bit more to recover from games, especially when they have been out for so long," observed Easterby.

"We have been pretty comfortable with what we have picked so far and we're happy with the guys who have been playing in those positions.

"For Jared it is great to have him back around and hopefully we will see him train on Wednesday and then we will take it from there."

Six Nations table

Payne has operated as Ireland's backline defensive co-ordinator under coach Joe Schmidt, but suffered a nasty kidney problem in the 27-24 win over Australia in the autumn.

The New Zealand-born midfielder had initially been expected to miss the entire Six Nations.

Ireland must win in Wales to keep their trophy chances alive, and a victory would most likely tee up a title decider against England in Dublin on Saturday, 18 March.

Leinster young gun Ringrose has continued to build his Test match confidence across the Six Nations, with Easterby backing the 22-year-old to shine again in Cardiff.

"He is a young man in years but he certainly looks like he is playing beyond those years in terms of his understanding of the game, his awareness," said Easterby.

"He is an intelligent rugby player, he sees things that a lot of players can't see and guys who have been around a lot longer than him.

"We've known for a long time that he is something special and he hasn't done too much wrong."

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