Six Nations 2018: Ireland await news on Henshaw's shoulder injury

By Cian MurtaghBBC Sport NI at the Aviva Stadium
Robbie Henshaw sustained a shoulder injury
Henshaw was injured in scoring his second try in the 44th minute of the match in Dublin

Joe Schmidt has not written Robbie Henshaw out of the Six Nations, despite the centre suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder against Italy.

Henshaw sustained the injury in scoring his second try in Saturday's eight-try 56-19 victory over Italy in Dublin.

"He looked in a fair bit of discomfort when he came off but what is promising is the fact that he was more comfortable later on," said Schmidt.

An update is expected on Sunday after Henshaw has a scan on the injury.

Ireland's next match is at home to Wales on 24 February.

Jack Conan (shoulder) and Tadgh Furlong, who pulled up with a hamstring injury in the third minute, will be hoping the two week lay-off to the Wales game will give them time to recover.

Ireland head coach Schmidt said the younger members of his squad could use the eight-try display as "a reference point" for how they must perform at Test level.

"I felt we played with some good width and most of it was accurate," said Schmidt.

Italy skipper Sergio Parisse described Ireland as a great team
Italy skipper Sergio Parisse described Ireland as a great team

"There were a few inaccuracies, we turned the ball over a lot more than we would have planned to, which is always a risk.

"I felt we scored some really good tries in that first 40 minutes and I was pleased to keep them to nil, when they showed in the second half how good an attacking side they are."

Italy have now suffered heavy losses to the two favourites for this year's championship, but captain Sergio Parisse felt Ireland had played at another level to the England team they lost to in round one.

"Ireland are a great side and when they play under pressure they are very good and when they play without pressure, they are awesome," said Parisse.

"Ireland play much better rugby than England - it's more difficult to defend.

"Of course, England are a great side and play good rugby as well but for me, after these two games, it was much more difficult against Ireland.

"I like the way they play, for me they play very good rugby so maybe they play better than England."

Ireland captain Rory Best, who scored his ninth try for Ireland when he barged over for his side's sixth of the afternoon, was pleased with Parisse's assessment of their performance.

"I think it is always nice when you get a compliment from an opposition captain, but ultimately we will look at this game and see there are a lot of things that we can do a lot better, especially in the second half," said Best.

"Ultimately, we will judge ourselves on how we go and in terms of comparisons to England, that's a long way away for us."