Kearney 'a good chance' for Wales but Ireland uncertain on van der Flier

Robbie Henshaw won’t be coming back into the mix as his dead leg lingers.

Murray Kinsella reports from the Aviva Stadium

JOE SCHMIDT SAYS Rob Kearney has “a really good chance” of being fit to face Wales next weekend in Ireland’s final game of the 2019 Six Nations.

The Leinster man was a late withdrawal from today’s 26-14 victory over France due to what Schmidt described as “calf tightness,” with Jordan Larmour coming into the starting team and Andrew Conway promoted to the bench.

Rob Kearney watches on from the stands Rob Kearney watches on from the stands in Dublin. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Kearney’s calf issue became apparent after yesterday’s captain’s run, but Schmidt insists he is in line to be in the selection mix for next weekend’s clash with the Welsh.

“I think Rob Kearney will be a really good chance,” said Schmidt. “He just had calf tightness yesterday.

“It gave Jordan an opportunity to come in today. Look, I’d be surprised if Rob wasn’t training on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on when we next train. That will depend how the recovery goes, tomorrow and Tuesday.”

Ireland lost openside flanker Josh van der Flier to injury in the first-half of the win over France, with the Leinster man replaced by the impressive try-scorer Jack Conan.

Van der Flier will be further examined by Ireland’s medical team in the coming days, with Schmidt unable to shed light on his potential availability for Wales.

“Josh, he got twisted awkwardly. We’ll know more about that in the next couple of days. But we wanted to get him off just knowing what we’ve got coming with a six-day turnaround.

Josh van der Flier goes off injured Van der Flier was replaced by Jack Conan in the first half. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It was a really good opportunity for Jack Conan to get out there. He was initially planned to start against Italy, so he did a good job.”

Otherwise, Ireland appeared to come through the French clash without fresh injury concerns and Schmidt will have some important selection calls to make ahead of the trip to Cardiff.

One man who won’t feature in that mix, though, is centre Robbie Henshaw who continues to be sidelined by a dead leg.

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“Robbie Henshaw would be less of a chance,” said Schmidt.

“Robbie is recovering but it’s slower than expected. It’s just unfortunately lingered. It’s a long, long time ago since I played but I had one and in some situations, it’s almost impossible to get rid of it fast.

“You just have to let it recover in its own time.”

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Murray Kinsella

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