Sexton on the mend

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has revealed star fly-half Johnny Sexton is on the mend and should be ready for their Six Nations opener.

Sexton walked off in the first half after appearing to have picked up a niggle in Leinster’s 24-24 draw against Castres last Friday.

But Schmidt believes he should be fit in time for their first fixture of the Six Nations against Scotland.

"Johnny took a bruised calf into the game against Castres and it just tightened up," Schmidt told reporters.

"There’s not a lot of damage there, nothing’s showing up that’s overly significant.

"Johnny’s already starting back doing a little bit. We’d be confident he’ll be able to train next week and therefore be fully available to face Scotland."

Schmidt went on to say that flanker Sean O’Brien should recover from a calf issue soon.

"He’s slightly further ahead than Johnny," he said.

"We’re confident he may train before the end of the week fully, but he should train fully next week."