Johnny Sexton is ruled out while Andrew Trimble is also a major fitness doubt for Ireland
Six Nations 2017
Dates: 4 Feb-18 March Coverage: BBC TV, Radio and online

Johnny Sexton and Peter O’Mahony will miss Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on Saturday.

Sexton’s calf injury, picked up on Leinster duty against Castres on 20 January, has not yet fully healed.

Munster flanker O’Mahony is out because of a hamstring problem, while Ulster wing Andrew Trimble is also a major doubt because of groin tightness.

“It’s better to leave him [Sexton] out this weekend,” Ireland’s forwards coach Simon Easterby said.

“We don’t want to compromise his calf any further.”

With Sexton, 31, out of the Murrayfield contest, Ulster’s Paddy Jackson looks certain to start in the fly-half jersey against the Scots.

Despite O’Mahony’s absence, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will still have strong back row options with fit-again Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier all available to partner number eight Jamie Heaslip.

More to follow.

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