O'Brien set to boost Ireland
March 12, 2012
Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien could be in line for a recall © Getty Images
Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien could be in line for a recall in Saturday's Six Nations clash with England after recovering from a foot infection.
The Leinster back-row was hospitalised last week and missed Ireland's 32-14 victory over Scotland.
The reigning European player of the year has lost weight, but Ireland team manager Mick Kearney has eased concerns over his participation at Twickenham.
"Sean was in hospital from Monday right through to the weekend and he's lost a couple of kilos, but he's in good form," Kearney said.
"If he's training today that is obviously a very good sign. The infection has cleared up so he's not on antibiotics. We're pretty sure that he'll be available for selection."
Captain Rory Best (ribs) and lock Donnacha Ryan (shoulder) will play a limited role in training this week and their fitness will also be monitored carefully.
"All the players are a bit sore. There was a light run out this afternoon and we'll build it up over the course of week," Kearney said.
"Most will take a full part in training except Donnacha, Rory and Sean who will be more curtailed, but we expected them to be involved."
The England game completes a run of four Six Nations matches in 22 days, a schedule made necessary by last month's postponed game against France. Kearney admitted that the attrition rate has taken its toll.
"It's tough but we've been dealt those cards and we must manage them as best we can," he said. "If we'd had that week's break it would have made it easier, but getting that win on Saturday has been hugely helpful in terms of the guys' form. We'll give it our best shot on Saturday."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Fifteen months ago Miles Benjamin fractured his neck playing for Leicester. Fast-forward to December and he's knocking on the England door. Here is his story
"The real problem rugby faces is the concussion tests in place can be manipulated by the players." Part two of Rory Lamont on concussion. Part one is here
"The Lions is a meritocracy, pure and simple." The Crooked Feed gives its view on Gatland's call for a Lions quota system
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with a topless Carlin Isles and scantily clad Waratahs players featuring