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Ireland provide upbeat fitness update

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Ireland provide an upbeat fitness update with countdown on to Scotland opener

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

Andy Farrell has declared Rob Kearney and Keith Earls available for selection for Ireland’s World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday. Assistant coach Farrell said full-back Kearney and centre Earls “ran well” in Wednesday’s session after struggling with calf and thigh issues respectively.

We’re pleased with how things have gone today,” said Farrell. “Rob and Keith Earls ran well and trained well. “There are a few protocols that they need to go to, so that’s what we need to adhere to with the medical staff. But they are very happy.

“They are available, so we’ve obviously another session to go on Friday. It is Wednesday. The game’s on Sunday, so we’re building nicely. Everybody (barring Robbie Henshaw) is available for selection.”

Leinster centre Henshaw will definitely miss Sunday’s Pool A match due to his hamstring issue, but Ireland still hope he will be fit for the game against hosts Japan on September 28. “Robbie won’t make this weekend, they are very happy with his progress but he will sit out this weekend and hopefully he will be available for next week. His progress has been great.”

Farrell also confirmed that Joey Carbery is fully fit, with the flyhalf likely to take a seat on the bench against the Scots. “Joey’s been training well since Monday, so we’re in a good spot.”

Ireland’s clash with Scotland could well determine the entire outcome of Pool A, with the winners hoping they can push on and top the round-robin standings. Former dual-code international Farrell admitted Ireland have trained with added “bite” this week, as they sharpen up for their biggest match in some time.

“If you take for example this week, which is the week that matters, there’s certainly a feel that’s brewing of major importance to the squad,” said Farrell. “The intensity, the bite that’s in training is very significant, and there’s a completely different feel. So I suppose that’s a culmination of what’s happened over the last couple of months.”

WATCH: Neil Back recalls England’s 2003 World Cup triumph in the opening episode of Rugby World Cup Memories, the new RugbyPass series 

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Ireland provide an upbeat fitness update with countdown on to Scotland opener