Rugby Union: Gomarsall confident

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The Independent Online
Andy Gomarsall, the England scrum-half, is confident of being fit for England's Five Nations' Championship match in Ireland on Saturday despite suffering two injuries during Wasps' Courage League win at the weekend.

"The nerves in my shoulder went again, as they did against Scotland the previous week, and my ankle was stood on," Gomarsall said. "But I know the shoulder can be treated and tons of ice are being applied to my ankle." He will be expected to prove his fitness by tomorrow at the latest. If either of his joints lets him down, it would mean a first cap for Austin Healey, the Leicester scrum-half .

Meanwhile, Ireland's training session at the University of Limerick yesterday had several players missing with injuries. David Corkery, the open-side flanker, has a broken finger and has been told not to get involved in any contact work.

A decision on the centre Jonathan Bell, who damaged a rib cartilage playing for Northampton, would not be made until Thursday. Other injury concerns were the loose-head prop Nick Popplewell (hamstring), as well as the Ireland A scrum-half Steve McIvor (hamstring) and flanker Eddie Halvey (ankle). The Ireland A lock Mick Galwey was absent for an examination on a back injury.

Emile Ntamack was yesterday ruled out of France's game against Wales at the Parc des Princes with a groin injury. The Toulouse wing will be replaced by Brive's Sebastien Viars. Jean-Claude Skrela, the coach, is also monitoring the lock Olivier Merle, who has a rib injury.

Having already lost the flanker Philippe Benneton, the outside-half Alain Penaud and centre Thomas Castaignede through injury and the prop Franck Tournaire because of suspension, Skrela is anxious not to be without the powerful Merle.

Carwyn Davies, the former Welsh international, was found dead in his car at his home in the village of Llangadog, Dyfed.