Six Nations: Ireland players want to give people a lift - Garry Ringrose

Sexton scores a try against Scotland
Ireland won two of their three Six Nations games before the tournament was suspended

Ireland centre Garry Ringrose says his team want give the country a lift when they resume Six Nations action by hosting Italy on Saturday.

Ireland last played in February and the tournament was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While elite sport goes on, much of the sporting landscape continues to suffer under restrictions designed to reduce the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

"People are going through incredibly tough times," said Ringrose.

"We're lucky to be able to come in and do our jobs together. We're being given an opportunity to provide a lift to some people who might be going through a tough time."

Irish professional rugby union returned in August, with Ringrose's Leinster retaining their Pro14 crown before falling to their first defeat of the season by Saracens in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The four provinces and the international team are receiving regular Covid-19 testing, which allows them to continue their seasons in spite of the volatile situation.

Saturday's fixtures against Italy marks Ireland's first game of a hectic autumn schedule, in which they will play six games within seven weeks.

"I know when I'm watching sport, very little else matters. There's a responsibility on us to do our bit if we can to do that," added Ringrose.

"Some people are at home, whether they're elderly, on their own or people trying to work from home with young kids.

"We're incredibly lucky to be able to come in and do what we do."

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