Six Nations: Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal forced to take time off

Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal
Gert Smal has had an eye condition for many years

Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal will take no further part in the Six Nations because of an eye condition.

Anthony Foley, assistant coach at Munster, has been drafted in to replace the South African for the remainder of the championship.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney, speaking ahead of Saturday's clash against Italy, insisted the change would cause minimal disruption.

"He had a pre-existing eye condition from many years back," said Kidney.

"Unfortunately Gert fell ill earlier in the week.

"I don't have full medical details but they are a private matter anyway and it means he is ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations.

"We have called in Anthony Foley and we have the blessing of Munster to do that.

"He will work with the forwards along with (scrum coach) Greg Feek.

"Gert is a very well-prepared man. It's an unfortunate situation but the prep work has been done so it won't hinder us overly."

Top Stories