Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has explained his thinking behind choosing to rest British & Irish Lions Tommy Bowe and Sean O’Brien for the summer tour to Argentina.
O’Brien, who started the deciding Lions Test in Sydney last summer, has only just recovered from shoulder surgery and came off the bench in Leinster’s semi-final win over Ulster last weekend.
Bowe, meanwhile, lined up against O’Brien in that match but he too has seen his season interrupted by injuries.
And Schmidt believes that both would be better served with a rest rather than a trip to face the Pumas.
“It’s really just player management,” Schmidt said.
“There are guys who have had continuous niggly injuries that are going to be given a good amount of time in the pre-season to recover from those.
“Obviously Sean (O’Brien) has come back (after shoulder surgery) and played very few minutes.
“It was a discussion I had with both players (O’Brien and Bowe), and there are a number of others who we would feel are better served by getting a window to fully recover.
“Also a number of them have accumulated very brief pre-seasons by the time they go away on June tours, Lions tours and the like.”