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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Injury Update
Sexton, O'Mahony and Henderson sit out Ireland training with 'knocks'
Robbie Henshaw, meanwhile, trained ‘reasonably hard’ at St. George’s Park.

Murray Kinsella reports from St. George’s Park

JOHNNY SEXTON, PETER O’Mahony and Iain Henderson all sat out Ireland’s training session at St. George’s Park this morning, as Robbie Henshaw continued his return from a hamstring strain.

Sexton sustained a “knock” to the knee in the win over Canada last weekend, although Ireland have stressed that it is a minor issue and has not caused them deep concern.

Jonathan Sexton Dan Sheridan / INPHO Sexton trained with Ireland on Monday, but not today. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Henderson missed the training session with a back issue picked up in the Canadian game, with skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy also describing it as a knock.

Back row O’Mahony watched on from the sidelines too with an unspecified knock, although Murphy again underlined that it is not a major worry.

No, nothing serious,” said Murphy of Sexton’s absence from training. “He picked up a bit of a knock during the game and we just felt that it was the right thing to just sit out training today. He’s fine and in good spirits.

“He just got a bit of a knock on the knee during the game and it’s nothing major. It’s just a case of trying to manage the players and make sure he’s ok for the weekend.”

Out-half Sexton was replaced after 55 minutes of Ireland’s win in the Millennium Stadium, although Murphy insists that substitution was not due to the knee issue.

Any injury to Ireland’s number 10 would obviously affect their chances at the World Cup greatly, but when pushed on the matter Murphy stressed that there is no cause for concern.

Peter O'Mahony and Iain Henderson Dan Sheridan / INPHO Henderson and O'Mahony watched from the sidelines as Ireland trained. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“It’s not a worrying moment, no,” said Murphy. “It’s very little. It’s a very minor knock and there’s nothing to be worried about.”

As for Henderson and O’Mahony, both starters against Canada, Murphy expressed a similar sentiment. Both players would be fit for this weekend’s clash with Romania in Wembley if needed, according to Murphy.

“Pete and Hendy didn’t train either,” said Murphy. “Both of them picked up small knocks (against Canada), but nothing major.

Hendy got a knock on the back, but again nothing major. I actually don’t know what Pete’s was.

“Both of them still can play this weekend, nobody’s been ruled out. It was just a case that today is quite a long way away from the game, so it’s felt that we give the lads time off today and make sure they’re ready towards the weekend.

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“Everyone’s in contention for Sunday. Johnny’s definitely not been ruled out for any other reason. The team will be announced, obviously, later on in the week and Johnny’s in for selection like everyone else.”

Robbie Henshaw Dan Sheridan / INPHO Henshaw trained, but not fully. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

As for Robbie Henshaw, the Connacht centre did not train fully with Joe Schmidt’s squad in St. George’s Park, perhaps suggesting his chances of featuring this weekend in Wembley have been reduced slightly.

Joe Schmidt famously demands that, whenever possible, his players complete a full training week before they feature.

Robbie trained reasonably hard today,” said Murphy. “He did a lot of running, a lot of passing and again he’s in a position where he’s returning to full fitness and he’s very close.

“He trained quite a lot today and he’ll probably have to train back with the team in our next training session, which is on Friday. Again, whether Robbie will be ready for this week we’re not quite sure at this moment, but we’re hoping that he will.”

That’s slightly less positive than the assertion on Sunday from Ireland that there was an “expectation” that Henshaw would be fit to play against Romania.

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