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Kidney sweats on Earls injury

IRELAND coach Declan Kidney was waiting for the result of today's medical examination to see how long Keith Earls could be out with a leg injury.

Centre Earls valiantly struggled through to the end of Munster's shock exit from the Heineken Cup in an effort to overcome Ulster. Already, Kidney has had to deal with the absence of the injured Tommy Bowe, his best strike runner, and the omission of Earls from the three tests against the All Blacks in June would be a hammer blow.

Luckily, Brian O'Driscoll looks in tip-top condition in his role at outside centre for Leinster and the previously discarded Luke Fitzgerald is back to near his best.

Munster no8 James Coughlan suffered a fracture to his left hand and will see a specialist later this week to determine the full extent of the injury.

The demise of Earls and Coughlan would seriously hinder Munster's end of season plans to defend their Rabodirect Pro12 title.