Munster’s Tom Ahern forced to withdraw from Ireland Six National panel due to injury

Munster's Tom Ahern has been forced to pull out of the Ireland squad for the Six Nations. Photo: Brendan Moran.

MUNSTER’S Tom Ahern has been forced to withdraw as a training panellist with the Ireland Squad ahead of the start of the Six Nations Championship.

Cian Prendergast (Connacht) has replaced Ahern, who suffered a head injury in Sunday’s Champions Cup loss to Northampton Saints at Thomond Park and spent that night in hospital ahead of his monitored rehabilitation at this week’s training camp in Portgual.

It is very unfortunate timing for uncapped 23-year-old Ahern, who has shown his athleticism and versatility in a recent run of appearances in the back row. He has scored six tries for Munster so far this season, including two in the Champions Cup.

Speaking at the Guinness Six Nations launch, Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: “As far as fitness and being ready for the first game (against France) is concerned, we’ve nine days and five training sessions to get ourselves up to speed.

“We’ve been pretty good at that over the last few seasons, so it’s about getting ourselves ready for that first game on Friday week in Marseille.

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“I’ve no doubt that players will be bouncing into camp (today) and looking forward to the nine days of preparation together.”