Robbie Henshaw has passed his head injury assessment return-to-play protocols and will be available for Ireland's Guinness Six Nations clash against England on Saturday week (live on RTÉ).

The Leinster and Lions centre was taken off in the second half of Ireland’s win over Italy on Sunday but took part in the squad’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium today and was declared good to go by forwards coach Paul O’Connell.

"Robbie Henshaw is fine, he has no problems," O’Connell told RTÉ Sport.

"He’s passed his return-to-play protocols so he’s had no problems."

The former Connacht man missed the opening game against Wales before featuring off the bench in the defeat to France.

He’ll likely face a battle with Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose for a starting spot in Twickenham.

However, Andrew Porter will play no further part in the tournament after a scan on his ankle injury revealed the injury to be more serious than first thought.

O’Connell lamented the loss of the 26-year-old, who started Ireland’s last six Test matches.

"He's a big loss, he's a modern prop forward," said the former Munster lock.

"He's an excellent scrummager on both sides of the scrum but his ball-carrying, his defending for us, really good poacher, a great man for turnovers, getting penalties for us at the ruck. He's no-nonsense to coach.

"He just gets on with it, he's very easy to coach, easy to deal with so he'll be a big loss. His bench [pressing] will probably go through the roof in this period which he'll be delighted with.

"He's a big loss but the way we've been training, and we saw it in the Argentina game in the autumn when lads starting dropping out in the warm-up, and we lost James Ryan before half-time, the way we've been training, a lot of the changes have been seamless enough and been easy enough and hopefully it continues that way.

"Obviously Cian [Healy] and Dave Kilcoyne have been with us at the moment and we'll have a look at the guys over the weekend and see if we can bring somebody in.

"Cian has been back playing; he has been great.

"Dave Kilcoyne has not had as much rugby played but he has played as well; when we have trained, like against the Under-20s and in those Wednesday training sessions, we have been very fast and physical.

"It has been at match intensity, if not a little bit higher, and players have got great benefit from that.

"As well as that, it is 15 against 15, so the guys have a lot more rugby under their belts than maybe their match minutes for Ireland would have you believe.

"There is no doubt a guy like Andrew Porter – he is first choice at the moment – is a loss; but it is a great opportunity for the guys, for Cian, for Dave.

"Like, Dave Kilcoyne started the game against England 12 months ago, he went off quite early;

"Cian came on and had a really good game, so there is great experience there. It is a great opportunity for these guys as well.

"They are real enthusiastic guys and they want the opportunity to play. So we are very happy with what we have behind Andrew Porter."

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Meanwhile, O'Connell believes that Eddie Jones’ side are on the verge of a big performance having struggled to impress so far.

The Red Rose lost to Scotland on the opening day and followed that up with victory over Italy.

They scraped past Wales last time out but were outscored three tries to one and looked "rudderless" according to former Ireland number 8 Jamie Heaslip.

"England are just bubbling and just on the verge of a big performance," said 42-year-old O'Connell

"Every part of what we do needs to be done better. We had opportunities at the weekend to score tries and we didnt take them just because of inaccuracies.

Paul O'Connell (r) and John Fogarty at Irish training

"We did that as well in France where we had opportunities but we didn't deliver the kind of detail that we have delivered at times when we managed to put teams under pressure.

"There isn't one particular area but everything needs to be more accurate.

"One of the big things being away from home is just being calm. The is never any lack of intent or passion or emotion when these boys play for Ireland.

"It's just being calm on big occasion is an important part for us as well."

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Follow all of Ireland's Six Nations games via our live blogs on and on the RTÉ News App or listen to live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1. Watch live coverage of England v Ireland on Saturday 12 March (4.45pm) on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.

Also, see live URC action this week with Ulster v Cardiff (Friday 4 March, 7pm) and Benetton v Leinster (Saturday 5 March, 12.30pm) live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.