While accepting that Johnny Sexton's absence is a blow for Ireland ahead of their Six Nations opener against Scotland, RTÉ analyst Donal Lenihan feels that his likely replacement Paddy Jackson is well placed to step in at Murrayfield.  

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Sexton will not face the Scots as the calf injury he picked up against Castres in the Champions Cup had not healed as quickly as he had hoped.

"It's a big setback for Joe Schmidt and for Ireland but you suspect an even bigger one for Johnny Sexton," was Lenihan's reaction to today's news.

On the plus said, Lenihan added that Schmidt and his backroom team have time to plan accordingly and that Paddy Jackson is the man they'll turn to to fill Sexton's boots.

"His most likely replacements in Paddy Jackson has started five of the last seven tests for Ireland and came on as a replacement in another one.

"Those games included three against South Africa over the summer and also the victory over Australia in November. That's four high quality tests."

Live Six Nations coverage of Scotland versus Ireland on RTÉ Two on Saturday at 1.30pm (KO 2.25pm) and live radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport programme from 2pm. Live coverage of Scotland v Ireland in the Women’s Six Nations on RTÉ Two on Friday at 6.30pm (KO 6.35pm), with live radio updates and reaction on an extended 2FM Game On programme at 7pm.