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Sexton injury 'nothing of concern' for Ireland, but Best joins Ross as a front row doubt

Ireland had an agreement with Racing Metro to limit the number 10′s game time on Saturday.

Image: Andrew Matthews

IRELAND TEAM MANAGER Mick Kearney says that Johnny Sexton’s injury worry is ‘nothing of concern’ for the squad’s medical staff.

Sexton was replaced at half-time during Racing Metro’s Top14 defeat to Oyonnax with a thigh problem just days out from the international season opener against South Africa in the Aviva Stadium.

Today, however, Kearney says that there had been a pre-existing agreement that Sexton would only play a portion of the French league fixture.

“He had got some tightness, but nothing of concern and he will train later on today,” said Kearney.

“He was always going to take a limited part in the game, so he did come off for that reason. Not for any other reason.”

The outlook is not so clear for Ireland’s two most experienced front rows; Mike Ross and Rory Best.

The Ulster captain is suffering with a tight calf and will take part in modified training today with the medical staff set to monitor his progress closely.

‘Reasonably confident’

Ross, Kearney says, remains likely to start after coming through some multi-directional training and running having focused on ‘static’ work last week.

“It’ll be 30 days since he played against Munster,” the team manager pointed out.

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“It is a bit of a concern, but he has done very well over the last week or 10 days. He’s met all his markers and as we say we’re reasonably confident that he’ll be available for selection.”

Outside of the front row there are no fresh injury concerns as Chris Henry, Rhys Ruddock (both rested on Friday), Tommy Bowe, Stuart Olding, Gordon D’Arcy, Jack McGrath and Rob Kearney all expected to join Sexton in a full training schedule this week.

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Sean Farrell

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