Winger Tommy Bowe has been ruled out of Ireland’s opening RBS 6 Nations match against Italy on Saturday week.
Tommy Bowe has been carrying a knee injury which was reviewed by both the Ospreys and Ireland medical teams and respective specialist consultants.
It was concluded that Bowe would not be fit to play against Italy in next week’s Six Nations opener. The Ireland medical team will continue to liaise with the Ospreys to determine when he will be fit to return to play.
Meanwhile, number 8 Jamie Heaslip also had his ankle injury reviewed by a specialist today. it has been confirmed the he will not be available for selection for the game at Stadio Flaminio.
Heaslip will continue his rehabilitation and, at this point, has not been ruled out of contention for Ireland’s second Championship outing against France on Sunday, February 13.
Ireland will carry a considerable injury list in the Championship, which includes the likes of Andrew Trimble (hand), Rob Kearney (knee), Geordan Murphy (ankle), John Hayes (groin), Jerry Flannery (calf) and Shane Horgan (knee)
Speaking at today’s RBS 6 Nations launch in London, Ireland head coach Declan Kidney said: “You never like to see guys injured – we know how much playing for Ireland means to those guys.
“We’ve tried to build a squad over the last few years and this will be the test of that. I have a huge belief in the way Irish rugby comes from the grassroots up.
“Of course there won’t be as much video analysis on the new guys, so that will be an advantage.”
Defence coach Les Kiss admitted: “It may not look good at moment, but we’ve ambitions to do well in this tournament, and we think we can.
“We’ve been building a panel for a while and the exposure a lot of those guys have got at Heineken Cup level in recent times is going to serve us well.
“There are a few more injuries than we would have liked, but now it’s an opportunity for other guys to stand up. We’re not going to put this Six Nations away and build for the World Cup, we want to get a job done here.”