Six Nations: Ireland’s Hugo Keenan hopeful of being fit to play against England in Twickenham

The 27-year-old sustained a knee issue during Ireland’s 36-0 triumph over Italy

Hugo Keenan is hoping to be available to play against England in Twickenham on Saturday week. The Irish fullback said that his rehab is progressing well and he hopes to be included in the Irish team as they try to win the Six Nations Championship in their fourth match of the tournament on March 9th.

“I’m good thank you. Rehab is progressing well,” said Keenan. “I was sad not to be out there at the weekend. Always tough watching from the stand. The injury is going according to plan and hopefully get back for the England game. That’s the plan.

“Not fully quite there but we haven’t been in this week,” he added. “We’re linking back up together. Tomorrow we are going to be based in Energia. Then we’ve got the open training session Thursday, so haven’t fully [participated in training] but progressing well. Yeah, not too far off getting fully involved so looking forward to being back.”

The 27-year-old sustained a knee issue during Ireland’s 36-0 triumph over Italy with Leinster’s Ciarán Frawley filling in at fullback for last weekend’s win over Wales in Dublin. From the beginning Keenan expected it to be no more than four weeks on the sideline.


“The injury happened in the Wales game and four weeks from that would be the England game,” said Keenan. “I was trying to get back for the Wales match. It was just a week or two too early. We sort of treated it – since we’ve known I’d be out – as a four-week injury. There was no point rushing me straight back into something I’m not ready for.”

It has been a frustrating run of weeks for Keenan, who played in all of last season’s Six Nations matches and missed just one the year before against Italy. Ireland travel to London with a chance of securing the Championship and are also playing to keep alive the chance of back-to-back Grand Slams with Scotland coming to Dublin for the final match.

“Hoping to build up the load over the next 10 or 12 days leading up to it to get right for that one, so yeah you don’t enjoy the time on the sideline but hopefully it will be a case where I just miss one,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been the worst timing because maybe sometimes a four-week injury in the middle of a Six Nations you miss three games rather than just one.”

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times