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Kearney Reports Clean Bill Of Health For Ireland

Kearney Reports Clean Bill Of Health For Ireland

There was a timely boost for Ireland as the start of the RBS 6 Nations nears, with team manager Michael Kearney confirming that all 34 players in Joe Schmidt’s squad are currently fit for Sunday’s opener against Scotland.

Speaking at a press conference in Carton House on Tuesday, Michael Kearney said: “Thirty four players arrived into camp yesterday evening and all are expected to train.

“There were a couple of minor issues last week with Peter O’Mahony, Gordon D’Arcy, Rob Kearney and Eoin Reddan – they took a limited part in training due to bumps and bruises picked up in rounds 5 and 6 of the Heineken Cup. But they have all recovered well and will train later today.

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“Tommy Bowe is recovering from a groin strain which was initally quite slow to recover but is now making good progress and is targeting the upcoming PRO12 matches with Ulser.

“It’s difficult to give a definitive answer on (if he will be back to face England). It is a question of just waiting and seeing how his recovery comes along.

“Donnacha Ryan is making good progress following a knee ligament inury and similar to Tommy is targeting the upcoming league games (with Munster).

“Keith Earls was very unfortunate in suffering knee ligament damage in Heineken Cup (round 6) and is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, so will miss the entire tournament.

“Finally, Sean O’Brien is recovering from shoulder surgery which will keep him sidelined for about four months.

“That’s the injury update for him. Four months is the current prognosis which puts him out until May at the very earliest though it is touch and go to see whether he will play again this season or not.

“Jonathan Sexton is fine. He obviously got a bit of a bang to the head (playing for Racing) against Toulouse on Saturday night. He had a couple of stitches inserted but he is in very good form and is absolutely fine.”

The Ireland team to play Scotland will be announced by head coach Joe Schmidt at a press conference on Friday afternoon (1.15pm). There will be a live stream here on IrishRugby.ie.