Schmidt hoping Sexton avoids injury

Date published: January 23 2014

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Sexton this weekend when Racing Métro play Toulouse.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Sexton this weekend when Racing Métro play Toulouse.

The Ireland number ten is set to play in the fixture due to his contract with the club, leaving Ireland to nervously watch on as their number one fly-half plays one more match before the Six Nations.

While France are the most recent of countries to introduce an initiative to protect their players the weekend before the Six Nations, Ireland are unable to stop Sexton from playing for his club at the Stade de France.

Sexton was rested last weekend in the Heineken Cup against Clermont and has recovered from a hamstring injury from earlier this season, but Schmidt remains understandably cautious.

“I expected it. Racing play Toulouse and he is being taken back for that game,” said Schmidt.

“He will get back [to Ireland's training camp], hopefully, Saturday evening or Sunday morning depending on his well-being

“Jonny's a lot fresher. He didn't play last weekend down in the swamp at Clermont which I've never seen before.

“So he was a lot fresher. I think he's in really good shape for the Six Nations.

“Certainly, if Racing had still been in the Heineken Cup, he'd have played last weekend and if they'd been playing Toulouse this week he'd have played again.

“The fact that they were out of the Heineken Cup meant that they didn't require Johnny to play and hopefully, touch wood, there's no injury in Toulouse and he'll be ready to go for Scotland.”

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