Ireland sweat on injured Sexton
November 18, 2013
If Jonathan Sexton is not available then Ireland have some serious headaches © PA Photos
Injury doubt Jonathan Sexton must train at least twice this week to be considered to face New Zealand on Sunday. Sexton limped out of Ireland's lacklustre 32-15 defeat to Australia at half-time with a hamstring problem.
Ireland boss Joe Schmidt will receive an update on Sexton's condition on Monday once Ireland's medics have examined scans. If the prognosis is unclear, he said Ireland can ill afford to gamble on Sexton being available.
"I guess we'll find out the degree of his injury and then that will either make a decision easy for us, because it looks good or it doesn't look good. If it's halfway in between, then certainly my expectation would be that he would have to train on Friday.
"He hasn't really spent that much time with us training, he had a little hip-flexor issue plus we left him to rest against Samoa just because of the attritional game time he had already accumulated. And I think the wear and tear of that game time has consequences, and unfortunately those consequences have fallen in our lap."
Schmidt admitted that the lack of experience were Sexton to be unavailable was a worry. "Paddy Jackson and Ian Madigan have a handful [of caps] each. That's a very big gap in terms of learning, experience and opportunity to maybe make some errors and learn from them. And they will be surrounded by some experienced players.
"So it's important for us to try to get the right players around the 10 if it's not Johnny."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor