Johnny Sexton must prove fitness by Tuesday

Ireland face France in the Six Nations next weekend.

BY Sinéad Farrell 14:32 Saturday 18 February 2017, 14:32 18 Feb 2017

©INPHO/James Crombie

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will make a decision on the fitness of Johnny Sexton this Tuesday, ahead of their Six Nations clash against France.

Sexton has been a notable absentee from Ireland's starting XV over the first two Six Nations fixtures, as he continues to nurse a calf injury.

Ulster's Paddy Jackson has been providing cover at No. 10.

Sexton completed a sprint routine at training on Friday and Schmidt seemed upbeat about his progress when speaking to reporters after the session.

He did however stress that Sexton's likelihood of getting the nod, will depend on whether he can prove his fitness at training on Tuesday. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:

"That's just another of those decisions we have to make. Part of that would probably be based on (whether) Johnny does put his hand up, how well does he train on Tuesday."

"I think Johnny starts a ripple in the team, very often. He is in a hub position, where a lot of his confidence goes through the team, and Paddy's growing that all the time."

"Johnny did some high-speed running today, he'll do some volume running over the weekend, and then he should be fit to go in and out of training on Monday and then train fully on Tuesday."

Sexton has been sidelined since Leinster's Champions Cup draw with Castres in January.

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