Monday 20 November 2017

Boost for Ireland as Rob Kearney trains ahead of All Blacks test

Ireland's Rob Kearney
Ireland's Rob Kearney
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

JOE SCHMIDT got a boost ahead of Sunday's meeting with the All Blacks after Rob Kearney came through training at Carton House.

Johnny Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll sat out the session as they continue to nurse the injuries they suffered against Australia last weekend, but Kearney's progress after suffering a rib cartilage injury will please the New Zealander as he prepares to face his home country this weekend.

Sexton and O'Driscoll will be given as much time as possible to recover from their muscle strains. The fly-half pulled up with a hamstring injury before half-time on Saturday, while centre O'Driscoll suffered a recurrence of his calf injury but finished the game.

Forwards coach John Plumtree said the eight day turnaround gives both players a chance to come back into the reckoning. Schmidt names his team on Friday.

Brian hasn’t trained, Jonny Sexton hasn’t trained. Just those two players, but everyone else is good,” Plumtree said.

“It’s hard to say [if they'll be available]. The nice thing is that we’ve got a long turnaround this week. It’s only Wednesday, so they’ve got a day off tomorrow, then come in Friday. We’ve got that extra day which is great, so hopefully the boys, by the time they come in Friday, will be feeling a lot better.”

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