Six Nations 2014: Ireland's Peter O'Mahony set to face Italy

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony

Ireland flanker Peter O'Mahony is expected to be fit for the Six Nations game against Italy after a scan revealed no tear to his hamstring.

The Munster captain was replaced midway through the second half of Saturday's 13-10 defeat by England at Twickenham.

Ireland are hopeful O'Mahony will be back in training next week.

Fly-half Jonny Sexton suffered a thumb injury in the England defeat but is not regarded as a major doubt for the Italy clash in Dublin on 8 March.

However, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt admitted he may take the chance to rest O'Mahony and Sexton and hand starting chances to in-form squad stars.

"Jonny hurt his thumb and it's in a splint but he could still pass and do everything - we'll get some more feedback over the next few days.

"He's gone back to France and hopefully he'll be fine - he should be available to face Italy," said Schmidt.

Highlights: England 13-10 Ireland

Ulster outside-half Paddy Jackson and loose-forwards Jordi Murphy and Tommy O'Donnell could now come into contention to start against the Azzurri.

Brian O'Driscoll is also set to be fit after suffering from cramp towards the end of the England match.

"Peter O'Mahony has no respect for his body," said Schmidt. "He's had a fantastic series so far.

"There is a little bit of blood on the hamstring scan, but no tear so those things normally clear up quickly.

"It's a case of managing Pete this week so that he can train next week.

"Brian O'Driscoll was cramp, he was walking fine after the game, he trained individually on Monday and he should train Wednesday and Thursday this week.

"He actually hasn't had that much game time this year in total, so he's pretty fresh."

Defeat by England ended Ireland's hopes of winning the Grand Slam, and leaves them level on points with England, Wales and Scotland at the top of the table.

The Ireland squad will assemble on Wednesday for a two-day training camp in Belfast.

Ireland play France in Paris in their final game on 15 March.

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