Ireland hope Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathan Sexton will be fit to face New Zealand

Last Updated: 21/11/13 11:43am

  • Share:
Brian O'Driscoll: Missed training due to calf injury

Brian O'Driscoll: Missed training due to calf injury

Sky Bet

Ireland are optimistic that Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathan Sexton will be fit to take on New Zealand this weekend after both sat out training on Wednesday.

Veteran centre O'Driscoll is having treatment on a calf problem, while fly-half Sexton is nursing a hamstring injury ahead of the clash with the world champions in Dublin.

The British and Irish Lions pair remain doubtful to feature at the Aviva Stadium, but forwards coach John Plumtree insists time is on their side.

"It's hard to say if they'll be available. The nice thing is that we've got a long turnaround this week," Plumtree said.

"It's only Wednesday, so they've got a day off on Thursday and then come in on Friday. We've got that extra day which is great and hopefully by the time they come in on Friday they'll be feeling a lot better."

Plumtree also had encouraging news over the fitness of Lions full-back Rob Kearney, who returned to training as he continues his comeback from a rib injury.

"Rob trained all right. I'm not sure how he's feeling afterwards, but he took part full in the session, which was good. I'm sure he'll be all right," Plumtree added.

All three picked up injuries during Saturday's disappointing 32-15 defeat to Australia, and Plumtree has demanded vast improvements from his pack if they are to avoid another heavy loss against the All Blacks.

Very average

"We were very average against Australia and we're very disappointed with that performance. We scrummed poorly," Plumtree said.

"We conceded a soft try from their drive which the boys are fuming at. We knew it was coming, but we didn't execute the plan we had in place, which makes it doubly irritating.

"There's been an extra edge in the forwards this week and there has to be. We're playing against probably the best side in the world and the pack needs to front up big time.

"As a pack New Zealand are the ultimate test. It doesn't get any tougher than this and we were irritated with our performance last week."

  • Share:

Related

Autumn international 2013: Ireland v New Zealand

Aaron Cruden takes his first kick as Ireland charge up

Cruden: Biggest kick of life

Aaron Cruden admits he was relieved to be given a second chance at taking his match-winning conversion against Ireland.

Paul O'Connell: Ireland captain looks to end New Zealand jinx

Ireland look to end NZ jinx

Captain Paul O'Connell says Ireland have their best-ever chance to break their All Blacks jinx. jinx

Aaron Cruden: Replaces the injured Dan Carter at fly-half for the All Blacks

Ireland v New Zealand: Teams

World champions New Zealand take on Ireland in Dublin on Sunday with both sides aiming to make history.

Most Popular

Features

Golf on the Wirral

Golf on the Wirral

We try out a couple of courses near the Open venue at Hoylake, including the birthplace of stableford.

Toe 2 Toe podcast

Toe 2 Toe podcast

Hear exclusive interviews from George Groves, Paddy Fitzpatrick, Brian Rose, Frank Warren and more.

Star performers

Star performers

Anita Navin picks out her netballers to watch at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.