Schmidt confident Sexton will recover for Italy after failing HIA

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is hopeful Johnny Sexton will show no ill-effects from the head injury he sustained against Scotland and will be fit to face Italy in two weeks.

The fly-half lasted less than half an hour of Saturday's 22-13 Six Nations victory at Murrayfield after suffering a blow and he subsequently failed a head injury assessment (HIA).

Joey Carbery came on in his place and helped guide the defending champions to an impressive triumph just seven days on from the surprise opening defeat to England in Dublin.

With Ireland next in action in Rome on February 24, Schmidt is optimistic the fortnight break will afford the number 10 enough time to recover.

"Johnny failed an HIA, he just banged his head in the build-up to our second try, he just fell pretty heavily," Schmidt said.

"He seems to be doing quite well now though, so we're hopeful he'll be okay for the next game.

"He copped a stamp at one point; I don't even think it was a Scottish foot, I think it was one of our guys who tripped over him.

"He got two knocks, so they were cumulative, and he has a swollen ankle, but that's just swelling and he should bounce back from that pretty quickly.

"It [being targeted by Scotland] was going to happen, and Johnny probably knew he was only going to play 20 minutes so tried to cram it all into one quarter!"

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