England and Ireland have both received a mixture of good and bad news over their injured players ahead of next weekendâ€™s final round of Six Nations matches.
Both will be relieved to hear that their star fly halves will be fit, Owen Farrell for England and Jonny Sexton for Ireland. Farrell missed Englandâ€™s win against Italy but is fit to face Wales in the championship decider, while Sexton has not played since Ireland lost to England in Dublin but will be fit to face Italy.
England had injury concern over their top three locks, Geoff Parling, Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes, but all three are expected to be fit for the trip to the Millennium Stadium.
Unfortunately Ben Morgan will not be able to make the trip though after failing to recover form the ankle injury he sustained against Scotland on the opening weekend. Stuart Lancaster had this to say on Morganâ€™s injury:
“Ben will stay at Gloucester this week. We knew his ankle would take six to eight weeks and he won’t make it in time. We’re going to miss Ben, which is disappointing for him having worked so hard to be fit.”
Ireland winger Craig Gilroy has been passed fit to play after missing the draw with France due to a groin injury, his fitness comes not a moment too soon as his replacement, Fergus McFadden has been ruled out of the Italy clash.
Also ruled out is Eoin Reddan, Reddan broke his leg in the final minutes against France and will be out for around three months. The man he replaced, Connor Murray, has been declared fit though after a knock to the knee, as has Peter Oâ€™Mahony who suffered a dead leg.
Second row Donnacha Ryan is a doubt though, as is Luke Marshall the centre, he received a hefty blow to the head and must follow IRB procedure before being cleared to play.
Brian Oâ€™Driscoll must also follow the same procedure after he too received a blow to the head, along with a deep cut to the ear and a severe dead leg but Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss expects Irelands miracle man to be fit:
“I imagine he’ll do everything to be available for Italy. He’s talking as though he’ll be there.”
Ireland have suffered an unbelievable run of injuries throughout the tournament, with Paul Oâ€™Connell, Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris and Richardt Strauss all ruled out before the Six Nations began, before Chris Henry, Gordon Dâ€™Arcy and Simon Zebo joined them on the long term absentees list.
Indeed with Oâ€™Connell, Bowe, Ferris and Dâ€™Arcy all previous Lions tourists, and Strauss, Henry and Zebo certainly in the mix, it is no wonder that Ireland have found things rather tough so far this Six Nations.