Fretting over one candidate for the Irish captaincy as the Six Nations approaches is unfortunate enough. Worrying about the fitness of a second is another level of concern entirely for Andy Farrell.
The hope is that both James Ryan and Jonathan Sexton will be available for the opener against Scotland next month, but it remains a wait-and-see situation for both.
Ryan came off early in the second quarter of Leinster’s stroll against Connacht in Dublin on Saturday. A knock to the calf was the apparent cause, with head coach Leo Cullen vague on the issue afterwards.
“Hopefully it’s nothing to worry about,” he said.
Sexton’s medial ligament issue, suffered away to Northampton last month, is progressing well and there have even been suggestions that he will feature this month as Leinster return to European competition.
“Day by day,” said Cullen. “He’s working away. He’s training away in the gym with the rehab guys and we’ll do everything we can to get him back as soon as possible.”