Irish boost as Sexton ‘will be ready’

Date published: March 10 2015

Ireland have been handed a significant boost with the news that Jonathan Sexton is in line to start against Wales on Saturday.

The Six Nations leaders travel to Cardiff looking to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive after three wins so far.

Sexton was withdrawn after 50 minutes against England as a precaution over his hamstring, but assistant coach Richie Murphy says the Racing Métro fly-half will be ready by Saturday.

"Johnny took full part in training this morning, he has done all the team stuff and trained well," said Murphy.

"He's dealing with the rehab guys really, so they have him on a programme bringing him through that. He kicked a couple of balls on Sunday, did a little bit more yesterday and more again today.

"So he's in a good place, he trained fully and was running at 100 percent today. He will be ready for the weekend.

"His kicking drills, he's probably not hitting them 100 percent yet, but today's Tuesday, Saturday is a long way away. And he'll be ready to go."

Murphy added that there was good news regarding the fitness of Jamie Heaslip, Jared Payne and Sean O'Brien after their various knocks and injuries in recent weeks.

"Everyone else has come through, Jamie trained Monday and Tuesday so he's fit and healthy and ready to go. And the two boys, Jared and Sean O'Brien both passed their return to play protocols.

"They have done contact today so as long as there's no reaction over the next 24 hours they are both fit and ready to go. It looks like a full deck to pick from, and everyone is very upbeat, everyone enjoyed that session this morning, the intensity was right up there.

"Having everyone fit and healthy is a massive thing for the squad because it puts pressure on everyone. The environment gets a nice little buzz off that."