There was a collective gasp among the Irish rugby public when news emerged earlier this week that Johnny Sexton injured his hand during Ireland training camp ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
As it emerged, a thumb injury has hampered Sexton’s preparations somewhat but the problem shouldn’t have too much of an impact as he is expected to be fit in time for Ireland’s first warm-up game against Italy in August.
Nevertheless, it shows the risk that is associated with Ireland’s long run-in to the World Cup, all players are susceptible to some bad luck, let alone Ireland’s most prized asset in Sexton.
“He sprained it last week,” Schmidt said to Virgin Media in Galway on Friday.
“It doesn’t actually stop him running so he still has to pay the price that everyone else is paying and putting in a lot of effort at the moment. We would expect that he will be passing the ball around by the end of next week and that he’ll be fully available, well before we play Italy anyway.”
As it transpired, the cause of Sexton’s injury was due to a random collision with Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne as Schmidt explained:
“He clipped a heel of Dave Kilcoyne’s boot so it was just one of those awkward injuries. It wasn’t even a contact session but when big men are moving at high speeds, sometimes those small collisions can cause a little bit of discomfort, nothing major.”
Ireland and Schmidt will be hoping for no more unfortunate incidents like this as they continue their preparations for the upcoming warm-up games and the World Cup.
Canterbury and the IRFU have today unveiled the new Irish Rugby World Cup 2019 team and supporter range. Headlined by a jersey like no other incorporating advanced technology and cutting-edge design, the range will be worn by the Ireland Rugby team in Japan as the team competes on the world stage.