Iain Henderson looks set to to be Ireland's only injury worry heading into the first round of the Guinness Six Nations against Wales on Saturday, 5 February.

The Ulster captain has played just once since Ireland's win against the All Blacks in November, picking up a hamstring injury before suffering an ankle knock on his return in December.

The 29-year-old was included in Andy Farrell's squad for the first two rounds of the tournament against Wales and France, and remains in contention for the opener against the defending champions.

In good news, he's likely to be the only injury worry for Farrell to contend with.

Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan, Josh van der Flier, Jordan Larmour and Joey Carbery have reported to camp carrying knocks, but the head coach believes they are all in line to return to training within the next few days.

"To sum it up, we expect everyone bar Iain Henderson to be training fully with us by the end of the week," Farrell told RTÉ Sport this morning at the launch of the 2022 championship.

"Iain Henderson, that's not to say he's out of the Wales game yet, we'll take it day by day and see how we go."

With Carbery likely to be fit, it leaves the Munster out-half likely competing with Connacht's Jack Carty as the back-up to Johnny Sexton during the championship.

Carbery had looked like he was coming into form before suffering a fractured elbow in November, and Farrell says he's shown real determination to get back in time for the Six Nations.

"Joey has been keeping fighting fit from week two after his injury to his elbow, so he's fit as a fiddle," he added.

"He has been doing all the ball skills, etc., constantly and the only thing he has had to wait is to get the all-clear to get back into contact and he's had that now so it's all systems go.

Ireland will be without James Lowe (below) for the opening weeks of the championship, with the Leinster winger suffering a hamstring injury in training last week, which led to him being left out of the 37-man squad that is set to fly out to Portugal tomorrow for a training camp.

But Farrell is hopeful that the 29-year-old will be available in the later rounds.

"We'll see what his fitness is like when he comes back," he said.

"We're expecting it to be a few weeks, we don’t know how many, just as yet. I suppose with every hamstring it takes its own course, doesn’t it, really.

"James, to be fair, is absolutely gutted. He will be doing everything he can to get as fit as he possibly can as soon as he can and we’ll assess it from there."

Expectations on Ireland will be high this year, as they look to build on their impressive end to 2021.

Following their wins against New Zealand, Argentina and Japan in November, Farrell's side are currently on an eight-game winning streak dating back to their Round 2 defeat to France almost 12 months ago.

However, the head coach says the level of their performances in November may have been overstated.

The former dual code England international said: "It's very easy to find scope for growth, you can look at all areas of your game and y ou'll always dissect it. If you dissect it and be honest with yourself you'll see how to do things better.

"In the scheme of things you can look at the results and think everything went swimmingly, but in reality, it didn't.

"We're so far away from November now as well, we're onto the next thing, analysing it and trying to get better.

"This is no different, the start of a new competition that means a lot to everyone. We've got to be improving constantly to make sure we're in with a chance."

Antoine Dupont is the reigning World Player of the Year

Meanwhile, France head coach Fabien Galthie says his star men Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack "are doing well" after each testing positive for coronavirus.

Les Bleus' preparation for the Six Nations has been severely disrupted by a host of withdrawals from Galthie’s 42-man squad.

In addition to world player of the year Dupont and fly-half Ntamack, Francois Cros, Gaetan Barlot, Anthony Jelonch, Cyril Baille, Bernard Le Roux and Pierre Bourgarit were also removed due to Covid-19.

"We keep in touch with all the players from afar, of course," said Galthie, whose side begin the championship at home to Italy on 6 February.

"We have good news concerning the players and their state of health and spirit and all are doing well."

Toulouse scrum-half Dupont has not played since 11 December due to a combination of postponements, fatigue and injury.

The 25-year-old could be involved in his club’s game at home to Racing 92 on Saturday as he seeks to regain sharpness ahead of a likely return to international duty.

Speaking specifically about Dupont, Galthie – who expects to give further updates on his squad next week – said: "I have spoken to him: he is doing well. He resumed training two weeks ago.

"He wanted to play against Cardiff but the match did not go ahead. Then of course he tested positive for Covid. But he is fine, and is still training.

"Today he had a test at his club and depending on the results he will play or not for Toulouse this weekend.

"That is up to his head coach Ugo Mola and I have confidence in him he will take the right decision both for his team and for Antoine."

France are also without Cameron Woki, Anthony Bouthier and Uini Atonio because of injury.

Follow all of Ireland's Six Nations games via our live blogs on rte.ie/sport and on the RTÉ News App or listen to live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1. Watch live TV coverage of Ireland v Wales (5 February, 2.15pm) and England v Ireland (12 March, 4.45pm) on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player.