Six Nations: England lock Itoje expected to be fit to face Ireland

By Sports Desk March 11, 2022

England are "really optimistic" Maro Itoje will be fit for Saturday's Six Nations showdown with Ireland.

The British and Irish Lions lock has been struggling with illness ahead of the round four clash at Twickenham.

Red Rose forwards coach Matt Proudfoot provided an encouraging update on Itoje on the eve of the game.

He said: "Maro was a little sick overnight so we're just giving him an opportunity to recover, but we're really optimistic he’ll be alright."

England prop Kyle Sinckler recovered from a back injury and will start against second-placed Ireland.

"Kyle fully trained. He had a great training session and looked really good," Proudfoot said.

England and Ireland have won two and lost one of their three matches ahead of a huge encounter in London.

Proudfoot says Eddie Jones' side are in great shape as they battle to win the title.

"For us it's a great opportunity to go after them. The team has trained really, really well and every week it’s got more and more competitive," he said.

"The preparation has been great and when they walked off the field today (Friday), you could see the confidence in the eyes of the players.

"We know we've got to go after them. Ireland have been together for a big part of the year because of their large Leinster contingent, so we know they have that as an advantage, but we're eager for the opportunity.

"It tends to be the deeper you go into the Six Nations, it gets more and more intense. This is probably going to be the most intense game we've played since the Springboks."

Related items

  • No point 'sulking' for All Blacks after Springboks loss, says embattled coach Foster No point 'sulking' for All Blacks after Springboks loss, says embattled coach Foster

    New Zealand coach Ian Foster says there is no point in his side "sulking" over their defeat to South Africa, as the All Blacks coach faces increased calls to stand down.

    The tourists slipped to an opening defeat into the Rugby Championship against the Springboks on Saturday, with the world champions claiming at 26-10 win in Mbombela.

    It means New Zealand have now gone three games without victory, following consecutive losses to Ireland on home turf, producing their longest barren streak since 1998.

    With five losses in their last six Tests now, expectations are that Foster's position may become untenable with another loss in Johannesburg this weekend, with the New Zealand Herald calling for him to go in a front page editorial on Monday.

    But for now, the coach say his team must focus on the next step rather than their mistakes.

    Foster said: "We know there’s a lot of pressure on, and we’re feeling that. But our job is to look at our performance and how we can grow it.

    "I understand the frustration, but that doesn’t change what we have to do here.

    "There’s no point sulking about it for too long. We’ve just got to get into Ellis Park and keep growing our game and still believe."

    Foster also stated his intent to address South Africa's mid-air challenges following a scrappy first encounter, with Beauden and Jordie Barrett both injury doubts following tackles by Kurt-Lee Arendse.

    "It*s becoming a free-for-all for jumpers just to be able to jump and stick a hand out and say they’re competing. It needs to be addressed," he said.

  • Australia fly-half Cooper 'ready and prepared' for long road to recovery Australia fly-half Cooper 'ready and prepared' for long road to recovery

    Quade Cooper says he is "ready and prepared for this journey" after suffering an Achilles injury during Australia's Rugby Championship 41-26 win over Argentina on Saturday.

    The fly-half went down injured seven minutes into the second half after slipping while in possession, and grabbed for his left leg before leaving the field with support from medical staff.

    Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie revealed after the game that Cooper's injury appeared to be "pretty serious".

    The 34-year-old had only just returned from a strained calf that saw him miss the home series defeat to England, and faces a long lay-off just over a year before the Rugby World Cup in France.

    Cooper took to Instagram on Sunday to thank his team-mates and medical staff, while vowing to support his team-mates from the sidelines.

    He wrote: "Ready and prepared for this journey. Doesn’t mean it will be easy but I know I’ve prepared myself for the challenge ahead by building systems and habits to guide me through each obstacle on my path.

    "Prepare for the storm so you are strong enough to endure it.

    "Want to thank both my team-mates and the Argentinian players for their support and care when I got injured. My team-mates who continue to help me learn and grow each day I will miss you all but be supporting your journey as I continue mine.

    "Our coaches for believing in me and continuing to push my growth. Our medical team who put so much time and energy into each and everyone of us."

  • Just In: England's women disqualified in 4x400m relay, Jamaica upgraded to the silver medal; appeal pending Just In: England's women disqualified in 4x400m relay, Jamaica upgraded to the silver medal; appeal pending

    Jamaica's women 4x400m relay team got an unexpected surprise in the final track event at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday when England's team that crossed the line first in 3:25.83 was disqualified for a lane infringement. They have subsequently filed an appeal.

    This means Jamaica's team comprised of 400m hurdles silver medallist Shian Salmon, Junelle Bromfield, Roneisha McGregor and Natoya Goule that ran 3:26.93 will leave Birmingham as 4x400m runners-up.

    The development also means Canada has now been crowned 2022 Commonwealth Games champions. They had finished second in 3:25.84. Scotland finished fourth in a season-best of 3:30.15 but has been upgraded to the bronze medal.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.