Ireland coach Joe Schmidt says he is disappointed with "external pundits" commenting on possible injuries as Sean O’Brien and Dave Kearney were ruled out of contention for the game against England. 

Leinster flanker O’Brien suffered a Grade 2 hamstring tear in Saturday’s loss to France, while winger Kearney suffered a shoulder injury, which Schmidt told RTÉ Sport rules him out of the Twickenham encounter.

On out-half Johnny Sexton, also withdrawn in Paris, Schmidt said: “His neck and shoulder, it’s more of a kind of a whiplash injury and he is certainly feeling a lot better 48 hours post-game.

"That’s not a head injury at all. 

"It’s always frustrating when external pundits start making medical diagnoses from something that they see or think happens.

"We’ve had Johnny totally checked out and he is very comfortable today."

"We’ve had Johnny totally checked out and he is very comfortable today.

"I’ve spoken to him this morning. It’s very much just a stiff neck and shoulder, and he should be fine to train later on this week."

Jared Payne suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in the first half and remained on the field despite the injury, said Schmidt.

The centre will not train this week and will be monitored ahead of the game on 27 February.

Second row Mike McCarthy was withdrawn after a clash of heads in the second half of the 10-9 defeat and will undergo return-to-play protocols. The 34-year-old will also see a specialist. 

Props Cian Healy and Mike Ross will join the squad for training in Mullingar this week but will be released to play with Leinster this weekend in their Pro12 trip to Cardiff of Saturday. 

Preview: England v Ireland

Schmidt also reflected on the disappointing performance in Paris.

"We built a lead in both first halves so far and we allowed those to fritter away.

"I think we probably should have built more of a lead against France, particularly that first 30 minutes where we had a number of attacking platforms.

"It’s easy to look back and say the call might not be right but then we got straight back there and didn’t make the most of the next one and those things you’ve got to keep going forward with and make sure you get those points on the board by building that pressure.

"[Going to France has] never had as much expectation that we should come away with a result and to come away with a one-point loss after losing guys during the game was not catastrophic but for us it's still really disappointing."