Healy eyes quarter-final return

Ireland and Leinster prop Cian Healy

Irish prop Cian Healy hopes to return from injury for Leinster's Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens on Saturday, April 4.

Healy was forced off after just 26 minutes of Ireland's defeat against England at Twickenham last Sunday, having suffered injury in the lead-up to Elliot Daly's try. The 32-year-old will not feature in Ireland's remaining Six Nations game owing to his hip injury/

"Big thanks to everyone for their kind messages over the last few days," said Healy on Instagram yesterday.

"I'm absolutely gutted with the injury but one thing is for sure, I will come back stronger and better. I'm surrounded by incredible medical teams in both Leinster and Ireland and have every faith in the plan ahead. We've set a target to return for the Champions Cup quarter-final and I will do everything in my power to achieve this! Time to get to work."

Meanwhile, England are refusing to allow escalating fears over the spread of the coronavirus to disrupt the final two rounds of their Six Nations title challenge.

Eddie Jones' side are due to visit Rome on the final day of the Championship on March 14 but that game appears in growing danger of being postponed with Italy in the grip of a mounting crisis. Twelve people have died from the disease in Italy and the country has reported a total of 374 cases. England are preparing for their clash with Wales in the penultimate round at a three-day camp in Oxford and assistant coach Steve Borthwick insists it is business as usual.

"It's not a distraction. The squad are together and looking forward to two-and-a-half days of training together and improving. We want to move forward again. That's what we're concentrating on," Borthwick said.