Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer could miss the start of the Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship. The Munster star has a broken bone in his heel which forced him to miss the Celtic League final defeat by Leinster at Lansdowne Road last month. He is definitely out of this Saturday's Heineken Cup tie against Harlequins at Thomond Park and will be missing for three to four weeks.

That would mean missing Munster's final Heineken Cup group match against Castres in France on January 12, and make him doubtful for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales in Dublin three weeks later on February 3. Stringer's absence would leave Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan with a straight choice between Leinster's Brian O'Meara or Llanelli number nine Guy Easterby.

Filed by Shane Murray