Not only will Josh van der Flier miss Ireland’s next NatWest 6 Nations game against Italy as a result of the knee injury he picked up against France in Paris on Saturday, he will also miss the remainder of the competition and indeed the season.
Van der Flier had to be replaced after just 25 minutes at the Stade de France and Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt revealed post-match that he would be unavailable to face the Azzurri at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.
Schmidt added that early signs suggested the Leinster flanker had suffered medial ligament damage but the exact nature of the injury and its severity would have to be determined by a scan the following day or early on Monday.
In a statement released today, the IRFU confirmed that the 24-year-old’s injury is a serious one.
“Josh van der Flier has been ruled out for the rest of the season having picked up a knee injury in the opening match of the NatWest 6 Nations on Saturday.
“The flanker sustained a serious knee ligament injury during the match and was replaced by Dan Leavy.”
There was also some news about Dave Kilcoyne, Jack O’Donoghue, Barry Daly, Andrew Conway, and James Cronin.
“In other squad news, Dave Kilcoyne has re-joined the squad while Jack O’Donoghue and Barry Daly will train with the group during the early part of this week.
“Andrew Conway will continue his rehab at Munster this week while James Cronin has returned to Limerick in order to garner some game minutes with Munster in the Guinness Pro14 this weekend.”
Ireland sit third in the NatWest 6 Nations standings after the opening round of fixtures. Schmidt’s side trail England and Wales, both of whom secured bonus points in their respective games against Italy and Scotland over the weekend.