Seán O’Brien back in full training ahead of France game
Injury update: Earls passes first stage of HIA; Trimble, Zebo and Sexton rest knocks
Seán O’Brien took a full part in Ireland’s training session at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Andrew Trimble (shoulder), Simon Zebo (knee) and Johnny Sexton (shoulder) all sat out training at Carton House on Tuesday but are expected to train on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s game against France in Paris. Keith Earls is going through the return-to-play protocols having passed stage one of Head Injury Assessment (HIA).
Seán O’Brien trained fully having missed the Wales game with a hamstring strain while Rob Kearney, also absent last weekend, took a limited part in the squad practice. Tommy O’Donnell also took a full part in training.
Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy offered a medical bulletin on the walking wounded following Sunday’s draw with Wales.
Murphy explained: “Tommy O’Donnell has completed his HIA; he trained today fully. Seán O’Brien trained today fully. Rob Kearney took a part in training today and is being assessed by the medical team. He should train fully on Thursday. Today he got through a volume of work and will be ready to go on Thursday.
“Keith (Earls) is going through HIA 1 and had passed that but he is in that sort of process where he is working through those protocols at the moment. He feels pretty good himself but a six-day turnaround . . . we will just have to assess that later on in the week and see where he is at.
“We are squeezed for time but no player is going to be ruled out (yet). We will be picking the best team to go to war with France at the weekend. Keith is not ruled out at the moment. He is in the middle of that return to play protocol so we will just see how he progresses over the next few days. It is a little bit unique to push selection back a little, to see who is fit and healthy, and who is ready to go.
“All those players who played at the weekend have come back to camp, Rob Herring, Paddy Jackson, Stuart McCloskey, all returned fit and healthy. Fergus McFadden has joined the squad as cover for Keith Earls over this week.
“Mike Ross and Cian Healy are still with Leinster and seem to be progressing well. I think both of them are available for their game (against Zebre) on Friday night. They are not in the Ireland squad at the moment. “
Murphy added that Sexton’s shoulder was a little stiff but that was more than compensated for by the birth of a baby daughter on Monday. “He’s very happy because his wife (Laura) had a baby girl yesterday.”