There’s never a good time to have a major disruption to fixtures involving a few countries, but one coming in a Rugby World Cup season is going to exacerbate the situation, with Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday week set to be the first of many games impacted.
The big second row's international career appeared to be all but over when Joe Schmidt cut him loose from the Ireland squad that would travel to Japan for the World Cup but he starts for the first time in six months for his country on Sunday against England in Twickenham.
So much for stormy weather. The clouds may have been gathering around Ireland as they prepared to face Grand Slam champions Wales in Dublin, and not just those being blown in by Storm Ciara. Yet when Johnny Sexton speaks, all becomes calm.