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Leinster reveal Sexton failed head injury test after Exeter clash


By Cian Tracey

Leinster have confirmed that Johnny Sexton did in fact fail his Head Injury Assessment (HIA) against Exeter Chiefs last weekend, despite Joe Schmidt saying that he hadn't on national television.

Speaking after Leinster's win on Saturday evening, the Ireland coach revealed that the out-half had passed his HIA but confusion has since surrounded Sexton's fitness.

Sexton was forced off after just two minutes of the Champions Cup victory and did not return to the pitch. Leinster have since moved to clarify the situation.

"He passed his HIA, he's okay. I spoke to him this evening, he's fine," Schmidt said.

Leinster however confirmed that was not the case, as a spokesman commented: "Leinster Rugby is happy to clarify that Johnny Sexton failed HIA 1 and is currently following return to play protocols."

The 32-year old has a history of head injuries and was unlikely to feature in the Boxing Day derby clash against Munster anyway, but he hasn't officially been ruled out yet as he follows the normal return to play procedures.

Sexton is required to go through a series of tests this week, which will take a minimum of six days. If he comes through each stage without any concussive symptoms, he will be passed fit to play.

Sean O'Brien meanwhile will miss the trip to Thomond Park as he recovers from a "few knocks" picked up in the double header against Exeter.

"Non-specific knocks I would describe them as," assistant coach Stuart Lancaster said.

Belfast Telegraph

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