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
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham