Johnny Sexton: Ireland captain one of four senior players in line to return for Six Nations clash with Scotland
Ireland look set to be able to call upon four returning senior players when they name their team for the Six Nations clash with Scotland on Sunday.
Fly-half Johnny Sexton, scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, prop Tadhg Furlong and centre Robbie Henshaw are included in a 37-man squad on Tuesday.
Captain Sexton did feature in Ireland‘s opening two fixtures of the Six Nations but missed out against Italy, with Ross Byrne starting in the fly-half shirt.
All four named in squad
But the signs are looking promising that Sexton will return to the starting side this weekend, and he could have a familiar face alongside him at Murrayfield.
That man is Gibson-Park, who looks to have fully recovered and, like Furlong and Henshaw, would make his first appearance in this season’s Championship.
The availability of this vital quartet is obviously a significant boost to head coach Andy Farrell as they look to push for a Grand Slam in the coming weeks.
Ireland have Scotland (away) and England (home) as their Six Nations run-in after already beating Wales, France and Italy in their opening three games.
Being able to call on Furlong is positive news for coach Farrell, especially after Finlay Bealham suffered a serious injury against the Azzurri last time out.
In other news from the announcement, Gavin Coombes, Jack Crowley, Roman Salanoa (all Munster), Cian Prendergast (Connacht), Jordan Larmour (Leinster), Rob Herring, Jacob Stockdale and Kieran Treadwell (all Ulster) return having featured for their provinces in the United Rugby Championship over the weekend.
Ciaran Frawley returns
Nick Timoney and Ciaran Frawley are also included in the squad for the first time during this Championship. Back-row Timoney started the game against Fiji in November, while Leinster fly-half/centre Frawley picked up an injury playing for Ireland ‘A’ against the All Blacks XV on the eve of the Autumn Nations Series.
Jamie Osborne and Scott Penny, who trained with Ireland ahead of Round Three, are unavailable after suffering knocks playing for Leinster at Edinburgh.
This weekend’s clash at Murrayfield sees second host first in the Six Nations standings, with Scotland having won two out of three games so far in 2023.
However, the omens do not look good for Gregor Townsend’s side, as they’ve not beaten their rivals since 2017, with Ireland winning the last seven clashes.
Bundee Aki, Ryan Baird, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Jack Crowley, Ciaran Frawley, Tadhg Furlong, Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Herring, Hugo Keenan, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, Garry Ringrose, James Ryan, Roman Salanoa, Johnny Sexton (c), Dan Sheehan, Jacob Stockdale, Nick Timoney, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier
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The article Johnny Sexton: Ireland captain one of four senior players in line to return for Six Nations clash with Scotland appeared first on Planetrugby.com.