Sexton back for Ireland, Henderson still out

Sexton back for Ireland, Henderson still out

Ireland’s inspirational captain Johnny Sexton says he’s fit and ready to go ahead of his team’s clash with Italy on Saturday as the Six Nations returns.

Sexton had been struggling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks but is now champing at the bit.

"I trained fully on Saturday - was sort of being managed a little bit on Saturday - and then trained fully today (Tuesday)," Sexton said.

"I feel good, thankfully. I did some good work over the last couple of weeks so hopefully I will be able to hit the ground running on Saturday."

Leinster and Ireland star Johnny Sexton opens up on criticism he has  received as a player

Ireland had lost only one game of the three they had played – against England in Round 3 – and will look to add to their victories as the finish off the final game of Round 4.

The men in green will, however, be without Iain Henderson who serving out a suspension after a red card against Ospreys just less than two weeks ago.

"It is a loss not having Hendy there. At the same time I think we're pretty well stocked in the lock position," said James Ryan, one of Ireland’s other experienced second-rows. "Between Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Beirne, Quinn Roux we've definitely got cover there. I think they all add something a bit different. Tadhg is so good over the ball, a real rangy player. Obviously we know how powerful Hendy can be and the same could be said for Quinn Roux. And I think Ultan is very athletic, very powerful on both sides of the ball.

Ireland lock James Ryan insists there's 'no panic' in squad after shock Six  Nations defeat to England

"Whoever they go for in the lock position, we're blessed that we've got some good variety there."

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