Sexton an ‘outside chance’ for Italian trip

Sexton an ‘outside chance’ for Italian trip

Joe Schmidt has labelled Jonathan Sexton an “outside chance” for Ireland’s second RBS Six Nations tie, against Italy in Rome next Saturday week, though Munster captain Peter O’Mahony is highly unlikely to feature at the Stadio Olimpico, writes Brendan O’Brien.

Sexton sits out Saturday’s tournament opener against Scotland with a calf injury while O’Mahony’s hamstring has done for his chances of featuring in Murrayfield, at the very least.

“Realistically, Johnny is an outside chance for Italy,” said Schmidt after announcing his squad for the Scotland engagement at team HQ. “Pete O’Mahony is an highly unlikely for Italy. Pete is probably bordering on grade one, grade two with his hamstring.

“It’s a strain, it’s not bad but we don’t want to to risk further damage by bringing him back too soon. We will probably progress him a little slower so Italy would be tight.”

Andrew Trimble is another to miss this first championship fixture, in his case due to a minor groin strain, but the expectation there is that the Ulster wing will be putting his hand up for the trip to the Italian capital.

Donnacha Ryan has also missed out on Murrayfield this weekend, however. The Munster lock’s preparation was undone by a medial ligament injury which prevented him from training last week. It was Tuesday of this week before he made a session.

“He has been super for us in recent times but it is a very tight turnaround and Donnacha, we just had uncertainty around him,” said the Ireland coach. “He came through training really well on Tuesday but we wanted a bit more uncertainty than that.”

Ulster’s Iain Henderson steps in alongside Devin Toner in the second row in Ryan’s absence with Connacht’s Ultan Dillane providing cover from the bench. The rest of the matchday 23, named Thursday lunchtime, followed the expected lines.

More on this topic

France's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with WalesFrance's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with Wales

Stuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year runningStuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year running

Rankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half placeRankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half place

There are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championshipThere are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championship

More in this Section

The Ryan game: “Proud” Trent pays for poor finishing in FIFA 20 defeatThe Ryan game: “Proud” Trent pays for poor finishing in FIFA 20 defeat

Club player of the year McGrath adjusting to life on lockdownClub player of the year McGrath adjusting to life on lockdown

Sport's frontline workers: ‘We’re in a privileged position to help in a global pandemic’Sport's frontline workers: ‘We’re in a privileged position to help in a global pandemic’

Paul Townend: ‘Growing up, jockeys were everything to me’Paul Townend: ‘Growing up, jockeys were everything to me’


Lifestyle

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

Are you and your family venturing into the room outside? Peter Dowdall has some useful advice.Now that the world’s on gardening leave, are you venturing into the room outside?

The virus crisis doesn’t have to dampen our enthusiasm for Easter treats, writes Roz CrowleyWe've got it cracked: Top 8 Easter eggs

More From The Irish Examiner