Ireland: Finlay Bealham ruled out of Six Nations run-in due to knee injury

Finlay Bealham for Ireland Credit: Alamy
Finlay Bealham for Ireland Credit: Alamy

Ireland have been dealt a blow after prop Finlay Bealham was ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations with a knee injury sustained on Saturday.

The Connacht front-row suffered the injury during the first period of the 34-20 victory over Italy in Rome and was replaced by Ulster prop Tom O’Toole.

Bealham, 31, has filled in admirably in the tighthead jersey in the opening three games of the 2023 Six Nations due to the absence of Tadhg Furlong (calf).

Six Nations over for Bealham

But his Championship is now over as Ireland take a short breather before ending their title push with matches against Scotland (away) and England (home).

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell clearly feared the worst when speaking about Bealham immediately after their narrow victory at the Stadio Olimpico, saying: “He twisted his knee, obviously he went down straight away, which says something doesn’t it?

“He tried his best to fight on. He’s in a brace there in the changing room, he says he’s fine but he always says that.”

However, there is growing positivity around the fitness of Furlong, who will this week be involved in Ireland’s two-day training camp and is set to return.

Farrell offered a positive update on a host of absentees following the weekend win at Stadio Olimpico, which kept the Irish on course for the Grand Slam.

Bealham aside, the head coach’s optimism was echoed by a statement from the Irish Rugby Football Union on Monday.

In addition to Furlong, captain Johnny Sexton (groin), centres Garry Ringrose (calf) and Robbie Henshaw (wrist) and scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park (hamstring) have been named in this week’s training group with a view to being ready for Murrayfield.

Ringrose was initially selected to face Italy before withdrawing on the eve of the game and was replaced in the starting line-up by Stuart McCloskey.

Ireland are currently sitting pretty in the Six Nations standings on 15 points, with Scotland, England and France all level on 10 points apiece behind them.

Ireland squad for two-day camp

Bundee Aki, Ryan Baird, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Conan, Tadhg Furlong, Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson Park, Mack Hansen, Cian Healy, Robbie Henshaw, Iain Henderson, Hugo Keenan, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Garry Ringrose, James Ryan, Johnny Sexton (c), Dan Sheehan, Josh van der Flier

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