GREG Feek has hinted Ireland are ready to risk Johnny Sexton for their “do-or-die” quarter-final with Argentina, even if the stand-off is not 100 per cent fit.
Scrum coach Feek conceded Ireland can ill afford to take on the Pumas without Sexton, if there is any realistic chance the Leinster playmaker can stay the course in Cardiff on Sunday.
Sexton spent Wednesday’s training session running, and will be given tomorrow’s to prove he is sufficiently past his groin strain to start against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium.
Ireland could, therefore, now name Sexton in their team on Friday lunchtime to give the combative outside-half every chance of being ready for their pivotal World Cup showdown.
“Johnny did about three-and-a-half kilometres of running today, so that’s a positive,” said Feek. “We’re quietly confident and we’ll see how he goes on Friday.
“In a row, in the Six Nations you usually get two matches and then a week off, while in November you get three but you can still mix it around.
“But here it’s do-or-die type stuff, so there might be some allowances around a few things, especially with our medical staff and strength and conditioners.They’ve got a good feel on things as well.”
Ireland must do without injured duo Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony for the rest of their campaign, while Sean O’Brien is banned for Sunday’s Pumas clash. Ireland are understood not to have any intention to appeal O’Brien’s one-week sanction, for punching Pascal Pape in Sunday’s 24-9 victory over France.