Sexton is ruled out of Italy trip
IRELAND fly-half Jonathan Sexton has been ruled out of Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy in Rome because of a foot injury.
Just two hours after being named in the starting XV for the Stadio Olimpico, Sexton was withdrawn after tearing a tendon in training yesterday morning.
Paddy Jackson, who deputised for Sexton against Scotland and France while the Leinster playmaker recovered from a hamstring injury, will continue in his absence.
The loss of Sexton is yet another cruel setback to a team that has endured a staggering number of injuries throughout the 2013 Six Nations.
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Brian O'Driscoll will play potentially his final Six Nations match after being included among the XV.
O'Driscoll, along with centre partner Luke Marshall, was concussed against France, but both players have been passed fit to face Italy.
Craig Gilroy returns on the right wing after overcoming a groin strain, replacing rib-fracture victim Fergus McFadden.
The pack is unchanged from the eight that started against France.