Sexton will be fit says Schmidt

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:55
Large joe schmidt  800

INJURY UPDATE: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is confident flyhalf Johnny Sexton will be fit in time to face Scotland in Six Nations opener.

The British and Irish Lions stand-off suffered a calf injury during Leinster's 24-24 European Champions Cup draw away to French side Castres on Friday.

But Schmidt is optimistic that Sexton will be able to train ahead of Ireland's match at Murrayfield on February 4.

"Johnny took a bruised calf into the game against Castres and it just tightened up," Schmidt told reporters at the Six Nations tournament launch in London on Wednesday.

"There's not a lot of damage there, nothing's showing up that's overly significant.

"Johnny's already starting back doing a little bit.

"We'd be confident he'll be able to train next week and therefore be fully available to face Scotland," the New Zealander added.

He was also upbeat about the fitness of Sean O'Brien, with the Leinster back-row another player with a calf injury.

"He's slightly further ahead than Johnny," said Schmidt of O'Brien.

"We're confident he may train before the end of the week fully, but he should train fully next week."

Schmidt left out Bordeaux's Ian Madigan from his 40-man tournament squad following the fly-half's decision to play club rugby in France, and brought in Munster's uncapped midfielder Rory Scannell as cover for Sexton.

But he said former Leinster outside-half Madigan could come back into Ireland contention later this Six Nations.

"The first time I saw Rory play for Dolphin against Belvedere he had a fantastic game at 10," said Schmidt.

"There's a big difference between that and Murrayfield but he would be the guy who could cover there.

We've also got Paddy Jackson available obviously."

He added: "With Ian (Madigan), he could only have done those two first days (training) with us.

"You only get that three-day opportunity with the window. So it complicates that.

"Ian had an injury earlier in the season so he hasn't had a lot of rugby really.

"I've kept in touch with Ian. He would slot back in pretty seamlessly for us, so that's still something potentially that we could look at."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1