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Joe Schmidt says Johnny Sexton will be back for Ireland's World Cup warm-up match against Italy on August 10th.

The out-half suffered a sprained thumb in training and Schmidt has played down fears the out-half could be out for a month, saying the world player of the year will step up his recovery next week.

“He sprained it last week", the Irish head-coach revealed to Virgin Media Sport.

“It doesn’t actually stop him running so he still has to pay the price that everyone else is paying and putting in a lot of effort at the moment.

"We would expect that he will be passing the ball around by the end of next week and that he’ll be fully available, well before we play Italy anyway.”

Schmidt says the Leinster captain suffered the injury in an accidental collision with prop Dave Kilcoyne.

"He clipped a heel of Dave Kilcoyne’s boot so it was just one of those awkward injuries. It wasn’t even a contact session but when big men are moving at high speeds, sometimes those small collisions can cause a little bit of discomfort, nothing major.”

Ulster's Will Addison came through his first week of training with the group this week and he'll travel with them to Limerick next week.


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