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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michael Scully

Leinster confirm key Ireland stars will be fit for Six Nations kick off

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton and world-class tighthead Tadhg Furlong will be available for the start of the 2023 Six Nations.

It was feared that veteran out-half Sexton would miss at least the first two fixtures away to Wales (February 4) and at home to France (February 11).

Sexton, 37, underwent facial surgery after suffering a cheekbone injury while playing for Leinster in the United Rugby Championship clash with Connacht on New Year's Day.

READ MORE: Owen Farrell could miss England's Six Nations opener

However ahead of Saturday's Champions Cup pool game at Gloucester (1pm), his province has issued a positive update on the no 10's return date.

Leinster say that while Sexton is unavailable this week, he will be further assessed next week but is expected to be back ahead of the Six Nations.

It remains to be seen if he will be involved for the Aviva Stadium clash with Racing 92, in the final round of pool games, but nevertheless the update will be music to the ears of Ireland boss Andy Farrell.

Similarly, Furlong has recovered from his ankle injury but Leinster have confirmed that the Wexford prop had a minor setback last week in training with an unrelated calf injury.

He will be unavailable for selection this week as a result but is expected to be back ahead of the Six Nations.

Meanwhile, Leinster say that flanker Will Connors will again look to step up his rehabilitation programme from a bicep injury and that prop Thomas Clarkson: will step up his rehabilitation this week from an arm injury

But centre Charlie Ngatai suffered a hamstring injury in the game against Ospreys and will be unavailable this week, which is a blow to Leo Cullen as Robbie Henshaw remains sidelined with a wrist injury.

There are no further updates on Luke McGrath (ankle), Max Deegan (ankle), Ed Byrne (knee), Jason Jenkins (hamstring), Martin Moloney (knee), Ciarán Frawley (knee), Charlie Ryan (knee) and Tommy O’Brien (knee).


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