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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 10 December, 2018

Ankle keeps Kearney out of Ireland session, but Healy and Sexton in full training

Cian Healy and Johnny Sexton got through their respective extra work in the scrum and goal-kicking on top of the field session.

CIAN HEALY WAS able to play a full part in Ireland’s training session in Carton House today, despite the ‘stinger-like’ issue that caused him to wobble midway through Ireland’s win over Scotland on Saturday.

Cian Healy Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Healy’s laboured motion after a colission with Stuart Hogg brought many to question why neither the independent match doctor nor the referee called for the prop to undergo a head injury assessment.

Despite the worrying appearances, the IRFU medics treated Healy for a knock on his  shoulder/trapezius and the prop continued to play deep into the second half. Today, the 30-year-old was back in full training in Maynooth.

“Cian trained fully today and scrummaged as well,” said skills coach Richie Murphy.

“Our medical team got onto the field very quickly, they assessed him, he was very coherent and it was a stinger injury, not a head.”

Murphy added: “It’s great at this stage of the season, you want to have as many of your players available as possible. Cian has experience over the last 10 years, on that front it’s fantastic for us to have him. But guys like Jack McGrath could easily come in and do a similar job.”

While Healy played a full part in training, Rob Kearney was held to a watching brief for the field session. Though the knocks are unlikely to prevent the last-remaning starter from the 2009 Grand Slam team from lacing up the boots for the fifth leg of this year’s attempt.

“Rob is fine, it’s just a case of managing his load. He picked up a couple of bangs during the game at the weekend and we are just easing his back into the week. He is perfectly fine and available for selection.

“He got caught a little bit on his ankle (against Scotland). The medics have looked at him, they are very happy with where he is at and we felt that just with Rob’s age and stuff like that we have to look after him.”

Jonathan Sexton Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Jonathan Sexton, meanwhile, played a full part in the session and even returned to full kicking duties after his work-load was limited by a glute problem since the win over Wales.

“He has come through that process,” says Murphy, “he had a little bit of glute issue but had no issues after the game or after training today.”

Asked whether the knock had any impact on his goal-kicking, Murphy responded:

“He missed one kick from 42, 43 metres on the angle; the rest of the kicks were really good.

“He’s had to manage that side of it but I think he managed it really well. Coming off the performance the previous week it was really good. He is in a good place, he trained today, he kicked today, he’ll kick tomorrow and is building into Saturday’s game with no issues.”

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Sean Farrell

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