IRELAND have lost another experienced performer for next weekend’s match with Scotland at Murrayfield after centre Gordon D’Arcy was discovered to have suffered a foot injury.
Ireland are already without injured trio Simon Zebo, Jonathan Sexton and Mike McCarthy as well as prop Cian Healy to suspension, while Brian O’Driscoll is nursing a painful ankle.
D’Arcy reported pain in his foot when the squad reconvened yesterday and was sent for a scan. It revealed that he had a stress injury to a bone, which will require at least four weeks in an immobilisation boot, and it could be six weeks before he plays again.
The Six Nations also confirmed that Healy will not be permitted to play for Leinster against Treviso today as the debate over when his suspension begins intensified. The prop was given a three-week ban by an independent disciplinary committee for stamping on the ankle of England prop Dan Cole.
But the committee invoked a rule that permitted them discretion to defer the suspension until it affected games that he was due to play in, in effect not starting it until tomorrow night because Healy was not due to be released by Ireland to Leinster this weekend.
However, Ireland and Leinster then stated that if the ban did not start until tomorrow he should be free to play today, to which the Six Nations have issued a stern reminder that the IRFU and Healy was informed that the period of suspension runs from the date he was cited to the date the suspension ends, 10 March.