The halfback concerns for their Six Nations opener against Italy in Ireland have grown after Eoin Reddan was injured in Leinster’s 20-20 draw Wasps.
Fly half Jonathan Sexton seems sure to miss the Rome competition while Conor Murray his routine half back partner is troubled by a neck injury.
Reddan strained medial knee ligaments in the European game in Leinster and faces a struggle to be fit for the Rome competition.
Concussion protocols will likely rule Sexton from the match on 7 February.
The Racing Metro flyhalf is now serving a stand down period following a number of concussions, which isn’t scheduled to finish until 14 February – the day Ireland face France.
Leinster’s Ian Madigan is being tipped to wear the number 10 jersey against the Italians in Ireland with Ulster fly half Paddy Jackson ruled from the whole Six Nations due to a dislocated elbow.
Scrumhalf Murray was out of action on Sunday as Munster hammered Sale 65-10 in the Irish medical team as well as a European Champions Cup dead rubber said on Monday this week that the Lions player will have additional scans.
Murray’s neck injury is reported to be phonograph record connected and Munster trainer Anthony Foley said on Sunday that it was “difficult to say” whether the scrum half would be accessible for Ireland’s Six Nations opener.
Reddan went off in the very first half of Leinster’s European game on Saturday and an Ireland statement said he was “being rehabbed in a bid to be fit” for the match in Rome.
Reddan’s Leinster associate Isaac Boss and Connacht’s Kieran Marmion are the other scrum halves in the Ireland squad.
Dave Kearney seems likely to be ruled out of potentially Ireland’s competition against France and the Rome match a week later after enduring a shoulder injury in the opening seconds of Leinster’s match on Saturday.
Wing Kearney, ever present in the successful Six Nations effort this past year of Ireland, sustained the injury after being handled in midair by Wasps flanker Ashley Johnson.
With Ireland, Robbie Henshaw will prepare on the plus side this week after missing the triumph over La Rochelle in Connacht due to a mild ankle sprain while Keith Earls came through Munster’s win over Sale unscathed.