O'Brien and Kearney set for Irish returns

Dublin (AFP) –


Flanker Sean O'Brien and full-back Rob Kearney look set to ease Ireland's injury troubles ahead of Saturday's trip to Paris in the Six Nations.

Both players missed Sunday's 16-16 draw at home to Wales but should boost the reigning champions at the Stade de France in Paris.

"Sean O'Brien trained fully today," said assistant coach Richie Murphy on Tuesday.

"Rob Kearney took a part in training today and is being assessed by the medical team.

"He should train fully on Thursday. Today he got through a volume of work and will be ready to go on Thursday."

Other players who picked up knocks in Sunday's match in Dublin are also expected to recover in time to face the French.

"Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo and Johnny Sexton all sat out training but are expected to train on Thursday," added Murphy.

"Johnny Sexton's shoulder area is a little bit stiff and sore."

Wing Keith Earls faces a battle to be fit after suffering a head knock and must first overcome the head injury assessment (HIA) protocols before being declared ready to play.

"He feels pretty good himself but a six-day turnaround, we will just have to assess that later in the week and see where he is at," said Murphy.

Flanker Tommy O'Donnell has returned to full training but props Cian Healy and Mike Ross are unlikely to be called up following recent injuries and should instead play for Leinster against Zebre in the Celtic League on Friday night.