D'Arcy and O'Connell doubtful for Russia game

Declan Kidney may rest the pair, in addition to several other key players, for Sunday’s game.

D'Arcy is unlikely to be risked for Sunday's game.
D'Arcy is unlikely to be risked for Sunday's game.

PAUL O’CONNELL AND Gordon D’Arcy are the only injury doubts for Ireland, going into their game against Russia on Sunday, after they both picked up hamstring strains.

D’Arcy was injured in the game against Australia and did not complete the game, while O’Connell took full part in the match.

Regardless of whether they are fit, Declan Kidney may well opt to rest the pair, as he is believed to be considering giving several first-team players a break for the game.

Donncha O’Callaghan told reporters that there was a good atmosphere in the camp following their surprise win over Australia at the weekend.

“There was an incredible buzz around the lads when we were setting off from Auckland. You sort of expect that after a good win, but something we have all been chatting about is that we need to remain focused on the job at hand.”

O’Callaghan said the team would relish the few extra days between the Australia and Russia game, given the grueling nature of their last match, and said players would be spending their spare time in different ways.

“Some guys might head out for a look around Taupo. The area sounds a little bit like Queenstown, with some really good outdoor activities to help the lads relax. Others might be happy to hang around the hotel, so it’s good to have that flexibility and the down days have been great whether we do something together as a group or do our own thing.”

Following their win against Australia, Ireland are now favourites to top Pool C. If they do so, they are likely to play either Wales, Fiji or Samoa in the quarter-finals.

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Paul Fennessy

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