Kearney injury blow for Ireland
Ireland full-back Rob Kearney may have played his last match in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations after being ruled out for between three to five weeks with a knee injury.
Kearney limped off in the 33rd minute of Saturday's 33-10 defeat by France in Paris after sustaining a strain to the medial ligament in his right leg. The 23-year-old British and Irish Lion will definitely miss the Test against England on Saturday week but could return to face Wales on March 13 if he makes a rapid recovery.
"Rob Kearney is rehabbing and is out for England," said Ireland head coach Declan Kidney on Thursday evening. "We'd always give it 48 hours before confirming, but we expect him to be out for between three to five weeks."
But Kidney was able to give encouraging updates on Stephen Ferris (knee), Leo Cullen (ankle), John Hayes (head) and Brian O'Driscoll (knee).
"Stephen Ferris and Leo Cullen haven't taken part in training over the last couple of days but we expect them to be available," he said.
"John Hayes has had all his check ups and has been given the all clear. Brian has been training."
Ireland have not yet decided whether to appeal after Jerry Flannery was suspended for six weeks for kicking France winger Alexis Palisson.
"We'll wait to see the judgement before taking advice on what to do," said Kidney.
"We don't want to see a guy out for any longer than he has to be. It wasn't a deliberate act, it was just awkward."