Under fire Irish rugby coach Declan Kidney got some good news on Monday morning, following reports that out-half Jonathan Sexton is confident of being fit for the Six Nations game against Italy.
The Leinster man has recovered from the hamstring injury picked up against England last month, and was included in the squad of players called into camp at the team’s Carton House base on Sunday night.
“Jonathan expects to be fit for the game on Saturday,” a source within the camp confirmed to the Irish Independent.
The players return is a huge boost for the Irish team, as they have struggled with their form over the past few games, and injury has ruled out a number of the side. Kidney had expected to face the Italian match with a much weakened side but at least it now appears he will have his main number ten to call upon.
Eoin Reddan’s season is over after he fractured his tibia, and Fergus McFadden has been ruled out with a suspected broken rib. Donnacha Ryan suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury and is a doubt for the trip to Rome.
Brian O’Driscoll and Luke Marshall both suffered concussion during Saturday’s game and will be assessed during the week before a final decision on their participation is made.