Friday 19 January 2018

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton cleared to face England but it's bad news for Tommy Bowe

Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray will be fit to face England
Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray will be fit to face England
David Kelly

David Kelly

Ireland’s crucial half-backs Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton will be fit to face England at the Aviva Stadium this weekend. Murray has responded well to a shoulder stinger injury while Sexton underwent a precautionary HIA.

However, there was worse news for Ulster win Tommy Bowe, whose season and Irish career may be over as he has a suspected fracture of his left leg and has gone back to Ulster.

"Johnny Sexton had a precautionary HIA but concussion has been ruled out but is available for selection, he went through three steps and is clear," said team manager Paul Dean.

Bowe has been replaced by Fergus McFadden while Jared Payne, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy return to training on Tuesday following Ulster’s weekend win.

Dean defended Ireland’s handling of Murray’s injury in the defeat to Wales.

"Conor is such a very good player and we gave him every opportunity to recover. You have to give the player every opportunity, he is such a good guy, such an asset, we had to give him the chance. He wasn’t comfortable enough to continue.

"Johnny has a black eye which is not his best look but he will be fine."

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