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Six Nations

Injury blow for 2nd favourites Ireland

Published on January 8, 2024
Updated on January 9, 2024
Written by Chris

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Injury blow for 2nd favourites Ireland
  • O’Brien and Hansen ruled out
  • Wingers join prop Lilcoyne on the sidelines
  • Ireland currently second favourites behind France

Ireland have suffered a double blow ahead of the Six Nations Rugby with both Jimmy O’Brien and Mack Hansen being forced out of the tournament due to injuries. 

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Wingers ruled out

Connacht revealed that 25-year-old wing Hansen will be sidelined for three to four months with a dislocated shoulder, which he sustained during their United Rugby Championship victory over Munster on New Year’s Day. The Australian-born player, who has 21 caps for Ireland, played a crucial role in their Grand Slam success last year and featured prominently in the 2023 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Leinster later announced that 27-year-old wing O’Brien has picked up a neck injury and will be unavailable for an unspecified extended period. O’Brien, with eight Ireland caps, last played in Leinster’s Investec Champions Cup win over Sale on December 16. These injuries come on top of the already confirmed absence of prop Dave Kilcoyne, who is set to miss the Six Nations with a shoulder injury, keeping him out of action for six months.

The unfortunate developments pose a challenge for head coach Andy Farrell as he prepares to defend Ireland’s Six Nations title. The team is set to begin their campaign against France in Marseille on February 2. Farrell will soon announce an extended squad for a training camp in Portugal ahead of the 2024 competition.

Betting Implications

At the time of writing, most betting sites have Ireland as second favourites behind France. At the time of writing, BoyleSports have France priced at 5/4 and Ireland at 6/4. Bettors need to assess how much the injuries are likely to affect Ireland when making their picks and must monitor their performances to see how they cope with some of their key men missing.

Ireland open up their campaign against France in Paris. Check out our guide.

Check out the best bookies for Rugby Union and the Six Nations and the UK’s best betting sites with Betting,com.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise