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Ireland hopeful over Payne with outside centre wearing moon boot

The 29-year-old has been jogging but is still in a protective boot.

Murray Kinsella reports from London

IRELAND ARE HOPEFUL that outside centre Jared Payne will train this week ahead of the decisive Pool D clash with France.

Jared Payne and Paddy Jackson Payne is wearing a moon boot on his left foot. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Payne missed yesterday’s narrow win over Italy due to what Ireland have described as a “bruised foot”. The Ulsterman was present at Olympic Park, but a protective moon boot over his left foot caused some concern.

With Joe Schmidt’s side set to face France on Sunday in Cardiff, there is doubt over Payne’s participation. Ireland say the midfielder has been jogging in training in recent days, and that the moon boot is simply to provide the best possible chance of recovery.

“The next 24 hours will give us a clearer picture of Jared Payne’s situation, but we would be very hopeful he will be okay later in the week,” said Ireland team manager Mick Kearney this morning.

He’s in and out of the moon boot all day, and he’s already been jogging in training.”

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Payne’s availability would seem important against what is expected to be a France side that asks demanding questions of Ireland’s defence. The 29-year-old is an important defensive leader for Joe Schmidt’s team and has developed a strong partnership with Robbie Henshaw.

More positively, Ireland confirmed that they have had no fresh injury issues arise from yesterday’s unimpressive win over the Italians.

With Rob Kearney now recovered from his glute strain and Payne working hard to prove his fitness, Ireland are in relatively good shape on the injury front, according to Kearney.

“Aside from the usual bumps and bruises we’re hopeful of having all 31 players available for selection for the France match.”

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Murray Kinsella

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