November Toll

Ireland to consider rest period for Sexton after out-half's latest injury

The 31-year-old has had a tough time with injuries in recent seasons.

JOE SCHMIDT SAYS Ireland will consider giving Johnny Sexton a period of time out of action to fully recuperate his body, after the latest in a growing line of injuries for the out-half.

Sexton was replaced early in the Dublin defeat to the All Blacks two weekends ago, having suffered a hamstring injury in his right leg. The 31-year-old missed last weekend’s win over the Wallabies as a result.

Jonathan Sexton during the warm up Sexton was injured against the All Blacks two weekends ago. James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Sexton had come into the November Test window with some doubts around his fitness after a hamstring problem in his other leg.

Asked immediately after the All Blacks clash whether Sexton would benefit from being allowed time off games in order to fully recuperate, Schmidt had joked about the out-half’s “skinny legs” and rejected the notion, saying:

“I don’t think putting him out of the game for a prolonged period is the solution.”

However, following Saturday’s win over the Wallabies, Schmidt said that Ireland and Leinster would now consider the idea.

Johnny, I got asked last week does he need a window of time to really make sure that he can be more robust and that’s probably one of the things that comes up for discussion now that this window is over,” said Schmidt.

“So, some of those discussions will take place and we’ll have a clearer picture after that.”

While a period of rest for Sexton might be in the national team’s best interests long-term, it does seem unlikely that Leinster would be happy for their star player to miss important games in the coming weeks.

The eastern province face Northampton in back-to-back Champions Cup clashes in December. However, Sexton is an employee of the IRFU and their philosophy is to serve the national team’s needs as a priority.

Robbie Henshaw lays injured Schmidt hopes Henshaw will only be out for the short-term. Billy Stickland / INPHO Billy Stickland / INPHO / INPHO

Schmidt did say that he hoped Sexton’s time on the sidelines will not extend beyond the short-term, stating the same of Robbie Henshaw, who suffered a heavy head injury against the All Blacks and also missed the win over the Wallabies.

“I’d like to think they’re relatively short-term,” said Schmidt. “Robbie was pretty sore, he was pretty knocked about and that’s disappointing.”

Schmidt said Rob Kearney was removed in the first half of Saturday’s victory in Dublin as a precautionary measure, while he expects Sean O’Brien to return from a hip flexor issue within the next fortnight.

Andrew Trimble suffered an ankle injury against the Wallabies and was waiting on scans to determine the severity, while Jared Payne picked up a rib injury to go with his existing dead leg, according to Schmidt.

The Kiwi head coach also confirmed that the rare sight of Jamie Heaslip being replaced in the second half was not due to injury.

“Jamie’s had the biggest volume, the biggest workload,” said Schmidt. “CJ had 60 minutes less last week so we knew that some people were going to be really struggling with the engine, so that was the decision we made.

“It was really just tactical in trying to make sure that we kept as much energy on the pitch as we could.”

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Wallabies flanker Mumm cited for dangerous lifting on Ireland’s Furlong

Schmidt watches on as clinical Black Ferns have too much class for Ireland

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.