Injured Irish stars set for French action
IRELAND are optimistic Brian O'Driscoll, Stephen Ferris and Gordon D'Arcy will be available to face the French in Saturday's third World Cup warm-up international at Lansdowne Road.
O'Driscoll said he would have been able to play in last Saturday's 19-12 defeat to France in Bordeaux if it had been an essential fixture and is expected to captain Ireland in the return clash, although Tommy Bowe is likely to be held back until the final encounter with England a week later.
Ferris and D'Arcy were Ireland's most serious injury concerns but manager Paul McNaughton said both players are progressing well and that they are hopeful that scans on Rob Kearney's groin strain will be positive.
"Brian O'Driscoll, Stephen Ferris and Gordon D'Arcy are all continuing to progress well and it is expected that they will be in contention for selection this week," said McNaughton.
"Tommy Bowe is also making progress and it's hoped he will be in line for selection the week after."