| 3.9°C Dublin

O'Driscoll fit to face USA

Brian O'Driscoll expects to lead Ireland out in their World Cup opener against the United States on September 11.

O'Driscoll missed the 20-9 defeat by England at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday with a shoulder injury and his fitness is being monitored closely.

But he is confident he will be in action against the USA in New Plymouth, and said: "The shoulder feels OK. I was training away earlier, though granted we didn't do too much contact. The more rest time I get, the better. At this moment in time I don't see any reason why I won't be playing against the USA."

O'Driscoll's centre partner Gordon D'Arcy will join up with the squad in Queenstown on Monday after his departure from Dublin was delayed on medical advice.

D'Arcy sustained a calf injury in training on Tuesday and his availability for the USA match will be assessed next week, confirmed team manager Paul McNaughton.

The chances of prop Cian Healy returning in time to face Eddie O'Sullivan's side look bleak, however, because of the damage sustained to his eye socket against England.

But full-back Rob Kearney, who has been struggling with a groin problem, is on course to make the World Cup opener.