/ Six Nations 2016

Injury concerns for Ireland forwards trio

Updated: Monday, 12 Mar 2012 15:39

Ireland captain Rory Best scores in the corner against Scotland
Ireland captain Rory Best scores in the corner against Scotland

By Brendan Cole

Ireland forwards Rory Best, Sean O’Brien and Donnacha Ryan are the main injury concerns ahead of the RBS 6 Nations clash with England on Saturday.

All three are expected to be fit for Saturday's match, a 5pm kick-off in Twickenham. The match, the third of the day, will be the last of a Six Nations in which Ireland can only finish second after an opening day loss to Wales and a draw with France.

O’Brien left hospital at the weekend after being forced to miss the win over Scotland with a foot infection.

Ireland manager Michael Kearney said: "He (O'Brien) was in hospital from Monday right through until the weekend and probably lost a couple of kilos of weight. But he is in good form. The medical staff will obviously monitor him during the week and certainly would be pretty confident he will be available for selection.

"He is training today and that is obviously a very good sign. the infection has cleared up which is obviously good as well and he is not on any antibiotics or anything like that. We are pretty sure he will be available for selection."

Best is struggling with bruised ribs and was forced off early in the second half against the Scots, while Ryan injured his left shoulder during the match. Both will have their training curtailed this week.

Rob Kearney and Gordon D’Arcy are expected to train fully after leaving the pitch early on Saturday.

After the second match of the Championship was postponed, Ireland have played three Tests in 13 days, securing two wins and a draw in outings against Italy, France and Scotland. The four-try victory over Scotland was a boost, according to Kearney.

Team manager Kearney said: "Test rugby is an extremely physically demanding game. It is tough, but we have been dealt those cards and we have to manage them as best we can. It is not ideal and we would love to have got the week break that we were due and I think that would have made it slightly easier.

"But getting the win on Saturday was hugely helpful in terms of the guys’ form and general well-being and we will go out and give it our best shot against England on Saturday."

He does not expect there to be any problems with motivation ahead of what has been a closely contested fixture over the last number of years.

"They are professional players and to a large extent they are used to playing week in, week out. I don’t think there will be any issue from the mental point of view with getting them up to play against England at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.

"It is is a really exciting challenge for them and I have no doubt that they will be well up for it both mentally and physically come the weekend.”

The team will be named at lunchtime on Tuesday.

It was also announced today that Ireland remain in seventh place in the IRB World Rankings after their win over Scotland.