Ireland winger Andrew Trimble has been ruled out of Ireland’s two remaining Six Nations fixtures.
The 32-year-old picked up a broken bone in his hand during Ulster’s Pro12 victory over Treviso on Friday night, and it has since been reported by BBC Sport that he will now miss the matches against Wales and England later this month.
This latest setback will be a particular source of frustration for Trimble, as he had only just returned to full fitness in recent weeks having recovered from a groin injury. Indeed, Joe Schmidt’s reluctance to rush him into action meant that he was limited to just 30 minutes of match time against France last weekend, coming on as a second half substitute for Rob Kearney.
Although his Ireland hopes have been dashed, Trimble still maintains hope of returning to action in time to help Ulster secure a top four finish in the Pro12.
In better news for Schmidt, flanker Josh van der Flier is making good progress on his own injury and is eyeing a return to the international setup for the Wales match in Cardiff next weekend. The 23-year-old picked up a shoulder injury in Leinster’s victory against Edinburgh two weeks ago and while there were initial fears that his campaign could be over, the man himself is remaining optimistic:
“It feels really, really good. I know Jamie [Heaslip] did this a couple of years ago and he was back in three weeks.
“At the moment I’m just aiming for Cardiff. We’ll see how it goes.”
On this week’s Oval Office Podcast, Jacques Burger talks about his battle with depression, Benetton Treviso’s Ian McKinley reviews Italy’s performance against England and Daniel Killick of The Attacking Scrum tells us what’s gone wrong with Wales.