Gerry Thornley: Avoiding injuries is critical for Ireland’s Six Nations

Recent history shows the more settled an Irish side, the more likely they will be contenders

In 2009, Ireland achieved their first Grand Slam in 61 years thanks to the lowest injury profile imaginable. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

In 2009, Ireland achieved their first Grand Slam in 61 years thanks to the lowest injury profile imaginable. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Aside from the glaringly obvious – uppermost amongst them being a good squad well coached – prospective Six Nations Champions require a few other factors that are somewhat out of their control.

A buzzword this week is momentum, but another ingredient is assuredly a healthy chunk of good luck, or at any rate avoiding a sizeable amount of bad luck, with regard to refereeing, maybe even the weather and the pitch, given the advent of bonus points, but particularly so with regard to injuries.

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