Sexton back in full Ireland training

Future Ireland head coach Farrell meets the media

Future Ireland head coach Farrell meets the media

Ireland's hopes of clinching back-to-back Grand Slams were ended by England in Round One but Farrell believes the Guinness Six Nations is still all to play for with three rounds to go. "Fortunately enough I get a bit of time to keep on learning in the meantime".

Ireland have been handed a massive Six Nations boosts with news that Robbie Henshaw will be back in full training next week and will likely be available for the Italy game and beyond.

Farrell, asked on Friday if following Schmidt would be the biggest challenge of his coaching career, replied: "Yes, 100 percent".

"Robbie Henshaw will be fit to train next week, Garry Ringrose we'll assess how he's going over the weekend and we'll see where we are next week with him", he said.

Ireland confirmed Farrell as Schmidt's replacement when their current boss revealed in November that he would step down at the end of 2019.

The father of current England worldwide Owen Farrell, he was a dual code player who won eight England caps after switching from rugby league to union. Of course I have become a better coach under Joe, 100 per cent.

"You're learning constantly and it shapes the way you think and learn on the run". No matter who you're working with.

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But Farrell kept his cards close to his chest when quizzed on the chance of linking up again with the former Leeds coach Lancaster.

There have been suggestions that Lancaster could rejoin his old England colleague as a member of the new Ireland coaching set-up, but a coy Farrell said: "There's planning that has to go on behind the scenes".

"As far as we're concerned, it's about getting the job done for the next game and then about making sure we get the job done for the last two".

"There's not too much wrong with the Irish set-up at this moment in time. Continuity is a good thing for us, because what we do is working". He is fine, he's had no symptoms at all, no complaints throughout the week.

Ireland, despite their defeat by England, are not yet out of Six Nations title contention, and will face Italy in Rome next weekend on the back of last week's 22-13 win away to Scotland at Murrayfield. "Obviously when you start and you have a few injuries they can be a bit of a loss, but for fresh guys to come back in and in good spirits it will give everyone a boost".

Farrell, who has worked alongside Schmidt since 2016 after leaving England's defence coach role, will take over from Schmidt following the World Cup.

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