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Sexton's hamstring only 'minor' as O'Brien and Payne suffer concussion

Both concussed players have begun their return-to-play protocols.

Sean O'Brien made an attempt to return to play after suffering concussion.
Sean O'Brien made an attempt to return to play after suffering concussion.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON’S HAMSTRING injury is only “minor,” according to a medical update from the IRFU.

The Ireland out-half was replaced in the 54th minute of his side’s 19-9 win over England yesterday after twinging his hamstring while kicking the conversion of Robbie Henshaw’s try.

However, any fears that Sexton might be in doubt for the clash with Wales in Cardiff on 14 March have been eased as the IRFU say the hamstring injury is rated as minor.

The Racing Métro playmaker has had issues with his hamstring in recent times, having suffered a tweak in the build-up to Ireland’s win over South Africa last November.

Meanwhile, the IRFU’s medical bulletin confirmed that Sean O’Brien and Jared Payne both suffered concussion during the win over England.

Johnny Sexton talks to Dr Eanna Falvey Sexton had to be replaced in the second half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Leinster back row and Ulster centre have begun their graded return-to-play protocols.

Payne sustained a blow to the head heading into the final 10 minutes of the Six Nations fixture, while O’Brien was replaced as early as the 24th minute after his own worrying concussion.

The post-match injury update from head coach Joe Schmidt indicated that Payne had passed his Head Injury Assessment at the Aviva Stadium, while O’Brien was said to be “asymptomatic.”

However, oftentimes concussion symptoms can be delayed, which might explain why Ireland were not in a position to confirm the concussions immediately post-match.

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Murray Kinsella

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