Friday 15 December 2017

Furlong in doubt for Ireland's march on Rome

Tadhg Furlong of Ireland. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Tadhg Furlong of Ireland. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Tadhg Furlong is a doubt for Ireland's second Six Nations game against Italy after sitting out training at Carton House yesterday.

The tighthead prop was arguably the side's best player on their opening day defeat to Scotland but left the field with 20 minutes to go. He received treatment to an injury before leaving the field.

Yesterday, team manager Paul Dean said he had a bruised shoulder but added that the plan was for the Wexford native to train.

However, when the session began Furlong was confined to the sidelines and his availability to play will depend on his ability to train today. Conor Murray also sat out part of the session with his work-load being managed.

Read more: Scottish inquest puts focus on Farrell's defence

Dean refused to rule Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony out of Saturday's game, but it appears increasingly likely that neither will feature against the Italians after they sat out team training.

Finlay Bealham and Andrew Trimble are back in contention after returning to training yesterday having missed Saturday's 27-22 loss through injury.

Ireland's defeat to Scotland leaves them with little margin for error as they look to get back to winning ways against Italy, who could be without talisman Sergio Parisse after he picked up a neck injury against Wales.

Read more: Kearney not giving up hope of earning Six Nations recall

"It makes us switched on 100pc," Robbie Henshaw said. "You can't switch off in this competition or you will be punished. We learned that the hard way last weekend."

Parisse underwent a MRI scan on Sunday, but the results are positive and Italy hope he'll train today and prove his fitness.

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