Andy Farrell will have a decision to make next week with Johnny Sexton set to return to fitness and looking for his jersey back off Joey Carbery.

The experienced Ireland out-half missed the 30-24 defeat to France due to a hamstring injury but is expected to be available for Sunday week's visit of Italy to Dublin.

"Yeah, [I expect him to be fit], all good," said the head coach when asked about his captain’s progress.

"He’s going through his protocols, he joined in training yesterday.

"He’s going through the end stages of rehab and we expect him to be fully fit next week."

Carbery, however, impressed on his first Guinness Six Nations start in the cauldron of Stade de France and will feel he did enough to keep his place.

Farrell wouldn’t divulge his thinking on the selection dilemma.

"We’ll see," he said.

"It’s not for me now, nor would you expect me to say who is going to start and who’s not.

"We’ll leave that to see how things unfold but the experience was great for him, the feedback on that experience has been great for him today.

"We trained against the Under-20s today and he’s put a few of those bits we talked about onto the field so it stands him in good stead to push on with his career."

One player who won't feature for the rest of the tournament is Ronán Kelleher, with the hooker ruled out with a shoulder injury that saw him replaced by fellow Leinster number 2 just 25 minutes into the match against Les Bleus.

"It's disappointing for Ronan and for us," added the Englishman.

"Him being out of the Six Nations will give other lads an opportunity to step forward.

"Dan is doing really well, it was a fantastic occasion for him and learning experience, going to Paris and playing so long. It’s a competitive position and that’s exactly what we want."

On the lessons learned from defeat to Fabien Galthie’s side, now firm favourites for the title, Farrell stressed the importance of improving off the back off the loss.

"It has to be 'cos otherwise it stands for nothing," he said.

"We’ve had a good hit out against the U20s this morning and some of those learnings have been put into practice.

"As you would imagine on an occasion like that, there’s quite a lot of learnings. I’d be here all day if we started going through them all.

"For us we make sure we put our game out there on the pitch in trying circumstances. France played outstanding.

"Certainly, in the first half if not the first 20 minutes, we could have been more accurate, more disciplined with how we played our game.

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"I stand by what I said after the game in regards to the fight and the spirit that we had to come back into the game and have a chance.

"We certainly don’t have an issue with discipline at all, in fact, we are an unbelievably disciplined side.

"Quite a few of the penalties given against us wasn’t through indiscipline, it was down to inaccuracy on our part, in terms of doing our jobs properly at the breakdown etc, it’s something we’ve being really strong on in the last five or six games.

"Discipline isn't just about people being offside or doing things illegally, discipline, you tend to fall on the wrong side of things if you are inaccurate in things."

Ireland host the Azzurri on Sunday week at the Aviva at 3pm. Italy have lost their last 34 games in the tournament.

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