Tuesday 15 October 2019

Tadhg injury blow

Tadhg Furlong is assisted from the field against Italy on Saturday
Tadhg Furlong is assisted from the field against Italy on Saturday

Tadhg Furlong has made such an impact on international rugby that his injury is now a major cause of concern for Irish manager Joe Schmidt.

Furlong was forced to retire with a hamstring problem just four minutes into Ireland's facile 56-19 Six Nations victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Having become such an integral part of the scrum, the Irish camp will be keeping fingers crossed that the injury is not too serious and he will be available for the Wales game on Saturday week.

Overall, it was a busy weekend for Wexford players on the rugby front, but while they met with mixed fortunes it was heartening to see the return to form of Gorey's Robin Copeland in the Munster back row following a spell out through injury.

Copeland was outstanding in Munster's 33-5 demolition of Zebre in their Guinness Pro Direct game, capping a man of the match performance with a try.

Copeland is competing in the back row with such seasoned players as C.J. Stander and Peter O'Mahony, but on this display he will be pushing for inclusion for forthcoming games.

It was not so lucky a night for Enniscorthy's Josh Murphy. Starting out in the number 6 jersey, Murphy continues to impress for Leinster, but will be disappointed at his side's 29-24 defeat to Edinburgh who got over for a last-gasp try.

However, Leinster came away with two bonus points, one for four tries scored, and a second for just a four-point defeat.

Meanwhile, it may not have been the most clinical display from Ireland, but for Katie Fitzhenry it was a winning return in their 21-8 victory over Italy in the Six Nations championship at Donnybrook on Sunday.

Fitzhenry was having her first game back since the World Cup, having figured in the Irish sevens squad over recent months, most lately in an international competition in Sydney, Australia, a few weeks ago.

Playing in her preferred centre position, Fitzhenry marked her comeback to the full international scene with a fine defensive display, while she also showed some attacking instincts in the lead up to the Irish scores.

The former Wexford Vixens player, now playing her club rugby with Blackrock, can now look forward to a home international against Wales in two weeks.

In the championship so far, Ireland have lost to France and defeated Italy, with Fitzhenry missing out on the French game owing to sevens commitments.

Wexford People