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Kidney: Ferris is OK

Declan Kidney has allayed fears over the fitness of Stephen Ferris for tonight's Six Nations clash with France after the Ireland flanker missed yesterday's training.

Ferris was a spectator as his team-mates completed their training session at the Stade de France.

The 24-year-old Ulster backrow was only passed fit yesterday after missing the championship opener against Italy with a knee injury.

But Kidney insisted there is no element of risk in his team for a match that could decide the destination of the title.

"It was prudent for him (Ferris) to sit out training as there's a balance to strike when a player comes back in," said Kidney. "Stephen is fine. Kevin McLaughlin did a good job for us against Italy as his replacement but Stephen, despite being the younger player, has that little more big match experience.

"France have so much experience in the backrow and on the bench.

"We need every bit of experience we have out on the pitch so that we can stay with them for the whole 80 minutes," added the coach.