Johnny Sexton expected to get thumbs up for Italy game despite injury

Johnny Sexton expected to get thumbs up for Italy game despite injury
Johnny Sexton at the Ireland rugby squad open training session today at The Sportsgrounds, Galway. Photo: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Johnny Sexton’s thumb sprain is not expected to stop the Ireland star facing Italy in Ireland’s opening World Cup warm-up game next month.

The World Rugby Player of the Year was injured during pre-season training last week and did not participate this week when Ireland’s extended squad decamped to Galway.

The good news for head coach Joe Schmidt is that will see his vice-captain and first-choice fly-half begin passing the ball during next week’s camp in Limerick before returning to full training the following week, an Ireland team spokesman said today.

That will give Sexton, who turned 34 on Thursday, plenty of time to make himself available for selection for Ireland’s Guinness Series opener in Dublin against the Italians on August 10.

Schmidt has added Ulster utility back Will Addison to his squad, bringing the total number of players to 45. The former Sale Shark underwent back surgery in April having been injured in his province’s final Champions Cup games against Leicester Tigers in January.

Addison, 26, won the first of his three Test caps to date off the bench against Italy in Chicago last November and then showed his versatility with starts against Argentina at outside centre and the United States a week later at full-back.

Given his injury the Irish strength and conditioning staff has held him back from contact but Addison has been given a heavy fitness workload and is expected to start training fully in the next two weeks.

With World Cup rules restricting squad numbers to 31 players, Schmidt is expected to start trimming his playing group in the week before Ireland face Italy and again following that game, retaining around 35 for the remaining three warm-up matches until the squad departs for Japan ahead of their Pool opener with Scotland in Yokohama on September 22.

More on this topic

Janet Jackson and 50 Cent to perform at Saudi Arabia concertJanet Jackson and 50 Cent to perform at Saudi Arabia concert

Billions of flying ants picked up on satellite imagingBillions of flying ants picked up on satellite imaging

Hitting the right note with new Luciano Pavarotti documentaryHitting the right note with new Luciano Pavarotti documentary

€100m worth of dangerous items in fake foods and drinks seized across Europe€100m worth of dangerous items in fake foods and drinks seized across Europe

More in this Section

Wexford star scores stunning keepie-uppie volleyWexford star scores stunning keepie-uppie volley

Portmarnock ‘logical first step’ for global Open, says HarringtonPortmarnock ‘logical first step’ for global Open, says Harrington

One change for Cork footballers as Sean Powter returns to the benchOne change for Cork footballers as Sean Powter returns to the bench

Jota hopes to be pitch-perfect for WolvesJota hopes to be pitch-perfect for Wolves


Lifestyle

Christy Collard and Robin O’Donovan are parents to six children, but sustainability is still a cornerstone of their busy lives in west Cork.The family that composts together stays together

Ron Howard was happy to let the spirit of Luciano Pavarotti shine through in his documentary on the great tenor, writes Laura Harding.Hitting the right note with new Luciano Pavarotti documentary

Prevention is so much better than cure, says Fiann Ó Nualláin, who offers gardeners timely advice on guarding face and body against those potentially damaging ultra-violet rays this season and beyond.Gardening: Be skincare-savvy for summer

It's never been more important to choose flowers and trees according to their environmental needs, says Peter DowdallIn these times of climate change, choose plants to weather all conditions

More From The Irish Examiner