Rob Kearney a doubt for Ireland’s clash with Italy

The Leinster and Ireland fullback sat out training after picking up a hamstring niggle

Rob Kearney is a doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy this weekend. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rob Kearney is a doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy this weekend. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Rob Kearney is the main concern for Ireland ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations Championship match against Italy at Lanadowne Road.

The Leinster and Ireland fullback sat out training after picking up a hamstring niggle in the session on Monday. The Irish medical team will monitor his progress over the next couple of days, ahead of Thursday’s team announcement.

It is the second time in the championship that Kearney has faced a fitness issue in the week of the game; he recovered in time to face France and it appears that Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will give him every chance to prove his fitness.

Munster flanker Tommy O’Donnell trained fully but scrumhalf Eoin Reddan was another to sit out today’s session with a calf issue. If Kearney doesn’t recover in time then a fit again Jared Payne, Simon Zebo and potentially Robbie Henshaw could wear the number 15 jersey.

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek said: “Tommy O’Donnell trained fully today, so he’s good. Rob Kearney had a slight hamstring issue so he sat out. Eoin Reddan had a calf issue so he sat out training as well. We’ll wait until Thursday to reassess them.

“Because they’re backs we have to wait a bit longer as well. I haven’t had a chance to talk to the medics or Rob himself. It (the injury) might have been (yesterday), near the end there.”

“If you’ve got a niggle you might want to try and get it right and then get back. I think it’s just one of those things. I’m not sure if it’s the same one, so I don’t want to speculate on whether it’s been an ongoing issue or not.”

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