first_imgUpdated: 2.25pmJONNY SEXTON — WHO was this morning named in the starting XV for Ireland’s trip to Rome — has now been ruled out.Sexton was hurt in training this morning, going over on his foot, though Declan Kidney insisted the Paris-bound kicker would be okay. Not so.“A scan has confirmed that he has torn a tendon in his left foot and is therefore ruled out this weekend,” an IRFU statement reads.Ian Madigan is now promoted to the replacements as Paddy Jackson starts. Craig Gilroy returns on the right wing after overcoming a groin strain, replacing rib-fracture victim Fergus McFadden.The pack is unchanged from the team that started against France with lock Donnacha Ryan being passed fit after sustaining a shoulder injury in that game. Devin Toner is on the bench in place of veteran second row Donncha O’Callaghan however.“The Italian line-out is going really well and I thought tactically it’d be good to cover off that area,” explained Kindey at the team’s base. “Devin has been going really well in training too. It’s extremely disappointing for Donncha but it’s just on the balance of things what I think we’ll need.” Ireland have never lost to Italy in the Six Nations with their last defeat to the Azzurri coming in 1997 before they joined the tournament.Victory in Rome, combined with France defeating Scotland in Paris, would give Ireland third-place – a reasonable return given the number of injuries they have endured in the championship. But defeat, combined with a French win, would thrust them into contention for the wooden spoon.Asked to sum up the championship so far, from an Irish point of view, Kidney added: “It’s been frustrating in terms of results. And in terms of creating opportunities and not finishing them off. But they’ve been working really hard, they’ve been a joy to work with and sometimes you’ve just got to work through these things in life. If we weren’t creating stuff we’d say okay, we have to go back to the drawing board but it’s like that at all.”Ireland (15-1): Rob Kearney; Craig Gilroy, Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Marshall, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahoney; Donnacha Ryan, Mike McCarthy; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy.Replacements: Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Devin Toner, Iain Henderson, Paul Marshall, Paddy Jackson, Luke Fitzgerald.- additional reporting AFPWhat do you think?O’Driscoll and Sexton named in starting line-up to face ItalyCampaign to retain Declan Kidney for 2015 World Cup gathers momentumlast_img

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