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Republic of Ireland rugby team winger Simon Zebo Photo by: Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Im

Simon Zebo out for season after England defeat carries a heavy cost for Ireland

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Republic of Ireland rugby team winger Simon Zebo Photo by: Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Im

Ireland coach Declan Kidney is counting the high cost of Sunday’s Six Nations defeat to England – on and off the field.

Ireland’s hopes of a Grand Slam and Triple Crown were both wiped out in the 12-6 defeat to the old enemy.

And the lingering hopes of a championship win have been dealt a huge blow by injuries to Simon Zebo and Jonathon Sexton.

Young winger Zebo is out for the rest of the Six Nations and Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter-final after breaking his foot.

Out-half Sexton is a major doubt for the clash with Scotland in a fortnight after picking up a hamstring injury against England.

Prop Cian Healy could miss the rest of the season if he is cited for stamping on an opponent on Sunday.

And Brian O’Driscoll, Sean O’Brien, Mike McCarthy and Donnacha Ryan also picked up knocks in the defeat.

A defiant Kidney insisted: “There’s still a hell of a lot to play for. What we have now are three more opportunities to get three wins. Let’s get to eight points and see where we are at the end of it.

“This win gives England a bit of daylight with the other five sides on two points each with three matches to play.

“We’re extremely disappointed because that wasn’t the result we wanted. Let’s see what France come up with at Twickenham. England have to go to Cardiff too.

“The Grand Slam is a wonderful thing to win, but first and foremost you play for the championship and we’re still well in for that.”

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