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Double blow as Sexton, McCarthy ruled out of Ireland's trip to Scotland

Team manager Mick Kearney confirmed the injury news at a press briefing this afternoon.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Updated 15.00

JONNY SEXTON AND Mike McCarthy have both been ruled out of Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Scotland.

Sexton limped off after 31 minutes against England last weekend and team manager Mick Kearney confirmed this afternoon that the out-half suffered a Grade 2 hamstring injury.

Kearney said, “Treatment commenced immediately after the game. He’s definitely ruled out of the Scotland and, although progress has been good so far, it is too early to say when he will return to play.”

Connacht lock McCarthy played the full 80 minutes of the 12-6 defeat but was found afterwards to have damaged his medial knee ligaments and is currently in a brace. A further review on his fitness will take place after the match in Murrayfield.

Coach Declan Kidney will have to wait on news of Donnacha Ryan’s progress before fully considering his second-row options for the trip to Murrayfield on 24 February. Ryan has a lower back strain but is marked as a “good chance” to feature against the Scots.

Sean O’Brien has neck stiffness and a tender hamstring after the defeat to England but did train today. Brian O’Driscoll had ‘a re-occurrence of a soft tissue injury to his good ankle’ but scans have revealed no structural damage.

With Simon Zebo ruled out for the remainder of the championship with a broken foot, Kidney also indicated that Keith Earls is in pole position to replace him on the wing.

Iain Henderson, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden and Devin Toner all trained with the remnants of the 23-man squad that faced England last Sunday.

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