Ireland’s World Cup preparations have encountered a huge injury scare as reports claim that Johnny Sexton, the 2018 World Rugby player of the year, is currently sidelined and unable to take a full part in training.
Joe Schmidt’s squad are in Galway for this week, but it appears his star out-half was injured during the two-week training window that took place at Carton House from June 16 to June 28.
It is reported by the Irish Independent that Sexton dislocated his thumb, an injury that would require between four to six weeks of rehabilitation.
That time frame would leave him likely to miss Ireland’s first warm-up match for the finals in Japan, the August 10 meeting with Italy in Dublin.
There are no concerns regarding Sexton’s availability for the tournament, which Ireland kick-off with a fixture versus Scotland on September 22 in Yokohama, but it is a setback that their influential talisman will be absent for some time from the training ground.
Jonathan Sexton injury scare disrupts Ireland's World Cup preparations https://t.co/owL5dvxdep
— Independent Sport (@IndoSport) July 10, 2019
Schmidt chose his 44-strong training squad to prepare for the finals at the end of May and Sexton’s hushed-up injury would have emerged next Friday as Ireland are due to hold a public training session at the Galway Sportsground.
With Sexton unable to take part in teams runs, opportunity has knocked for his understudies – Joey Carbery, Jack Carty and Ross Byrne – to step up and jockey for position ahead of Ireland’s four-match warm-up campaign.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 28, 2019
After facing the Italians in Dublin, Ireland are due to head to Portugal for some warm-warm-weather training prior to facing England at Twickenham on August 24.
It is expected the IRFU will provide an update on Sexton’s situation at a media session in Galway this Friday.
WATCH: Part one of the two-part RugbyPass documentary on the many adventures that fans experience in Japan at this year’s World Cup
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