Ireland have suffered yet another injury blow.
The latest to head for the treatment table is Leinster untility back Luke Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald sustained medial ligament damage to his knee and is out of action for six to eight weeks.
The injury was picked up during a tackling drill at Ireland’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium, last Friday, when Fitzgerald was running as a centre in a backline drill. Ireland Team manager Mick Kearney said:
“[It was] a tackling drill at the Aviva, his foot just got caught in the grass and twisted his knee, so fairly innocuous and he’s unlucky to be out of the Six Nations, but I suppose it could have been worse.
“He was very upset to be honest and probably feared the worst. He’s had a very good run injury wise since the end of last season, had a great World Cup and was flying right up until the open session.”
Ireland will not be calling up a replacement for Fitzgerald this week but they may draft in another back ahead of the away date with France on February 13.
The contenders to replace Fitzgerald would be Garry Ringrose, Craig Gilroy, Fergus McFadden or Stuart Olding.
Fitzgerald joins Tommy Bowe, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony and Marty Moore in being ruled out of the entire tournament.