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Kidney upbeat as he awaits Jones news

Updated: Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 15:11

Declan Kidney - "Am I concerned? No not really."
Declan Kidney - "Am I concerned? No not really."

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Ireland are sweating on the fitness of Felix Jones less than 48 hours before they name their World Cup squad.

Jones was driven from the pitch in a medical cart in the 71st minute of today's 26-22 defeat by France at Aviva Stadium after falling awkwardly while catching a high ball.

The Munster full-back, making his full Test debut, had played his way into contention for the 30-man party for New Zealand, which is named at lunchtime on Monday.

"Felix has had an x-ray which didn't show a broken bone, but he'll have a scan tomorrow," said coach Declan Kidney.

"Only once we know the results of that will we be able to asses it fully. We need to check for ligament damage."

Kidney was able to deliver a more definitive update on loosehead prop Cian Healy, who had to be helped from the pitch during in the 51st minute.

"Someone stood on Cian's foot 10 days ago in training and unfortunately someone trod on the same spot today," said Kidney.

"It's just something that needs a little bit of fresh air and time for the bruise to heal."

Ireland's preparations for the World Cup suffered a further setback with their third successive defeat.

They made a bright start with Cian Healy's try helping them establish an early 8-0 lead, but France amassed 26 unanswered points before a late Irish flurry gave the score respectability.

England complete the four-Test summer series when they visit Dublin next Saturday, a game Ireland must win if they are to restore confidence in time for New Zealand.

Kidney, however, is content that the squad's preparations are on track.

"The pressure's the same for every game. We've tried to win each one and that's what we'll do next Saturday," he said.

"Three losses isn't what we want to have. We'd have liked to have won them all, we haven't hidden from that fact.

"Am I concerned? No not really. In terms of what we're doing and the way we're going about it, I believe we are going the right way."

Captain Brian O'Driscoll, who alongside Gordon D'Arcy and Stephen Ferris made a successful return from injury, admitted Ireland could only perform for spells.

"Hopefully we'll get better at playing that very high tempo game we produced in the first 15-20 minutes the more we play," he said.

"It's difficult to play for that intensity for 80 minutes. We played for 20 minutes in the first half and 15 minutes at the end.

"We need to play like that for far longer periods if we are to stay in the game against good opposition like France.

"We were predictable in that first quarter but when we got tired maybe we got easier to read."

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