Ireland’s Johnny Sexton who has been in doubt for the tournament, has now been ruled out of his side’s opener against France on the 4th of February.

Sexton who was earlier a doubt for the whole tournament down to a calf injury, is being medically assessed prior to the tournament. This gives Sexton and Ireland the best chance of him returning for their following game against Italy. Schmitt has been preparing for this, and has men raring to go if the 31 year old fly half doesn’t reach peak fitness before their much anticipated game.

Ireland have Munster man Ian Keatley in their ranks, and he will be ready to replace Sexton if worst comes to worse. Although, Sexton is set to be fit for the remainder of the tournament, which is good news for Ireland as they will go on to face their toughest competition in the form of an unbeaten England side.

What are everyones’ predictions for this years tournament? Will Ireland show England who the real world number 1 contenders are?