Lions prop Andrew Porter to miss rest of Ireland’s Six Nations due to injury

Ireland will be without the services of star prop Andrew Porter for their final two fixtures of this year's Six Nations against England and Scotland.

In a substantial blow to Andy Farrell's side ahead of their trip to Twickenham on March 12, Irish Rugby confirmed a scan of Porter's ankle revealed he would miss the tournament run-in.

The 26-year-old has returned to provincial employers Leinster to receive treatment for the injury, which he appeared to suffer early in the second half of Sunday's 57-6 win over Italy.

Porter has started each of Ireland's three outings in this year's Six Nations thus far, but either Leinster team-mate Cian Healy or Munster 's Dave Kilcoyne will be favoured to step into the No. 1 jersey.

His is the second front-row setback Farrell has suffered in the past fortnight after first-choice hooker Ronan Kelleher was ruled out of Ireland's final three Six Nations fixtures in mid-February.

Porter—who was picked for the British and Irish Lions ' tour of South Africa last year—took to Instagram after news of his injury broke, posting a picture of himself in Ireland kit looking wistfully into the distance.

Accompanying the post was a caption about surviving adversity, which read: "When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth."

Former Ireland lock and current forwards coach Paul O'Connell underlined the impact Porter's absence will have on the squad for their remaining two fixtures, describing the news as a "big loss."

"He's the modern prop forward," the ex-captain told reporters. "He's obviously an excellent scrummager on both sides of the scrum, but his ball-carrying for us, his defending for us. He's a really good poacher as well, he's a great man to get penalties and turnovers at the ruck.

"And he’s no-nonsense to coach, he just gets on with it. He's very easy to work with and very easy to deal with. He'll be a big loss."

Porter has helped Ireland compose one of the most formidable front rows in world rugby having successfully transitioned from tighthead to loosehead, a move rarely seen at the elite level.

That was in part due to the competition provided on the other side of the pack by Leinster team-mate Tadhg Furlong, often considered one of the best tighthead props in the sport.

"His [Porter's] bench [press] will probably go through the roof in this period, which he'll be delighted with," O'Connell joked. "But he's a big loss for us."

The former Munster talisman was unsure when asked whether Ireland would call up a replacement for the games against England and Scotland, with Healy and Kilcoyne providing plenty of experience.

Ireland currently sit second in the table behind France, who are still in with a chance of winning the Grand Slam after defeating Farrell's side in the second round.

They travel to Twickenham in their next outing and hope to beat Eddie Jones ' side at Twickenham for the first time since 2018 in a showdown between second and third, with just a point between the pair.

Ireland will then close out their campaign at home to Scotland on March 19, hopeful that Les Bleus will have given up some points to put them back within sight of the title.

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