Six Nations: Ireland unconcerned by Brian O'Driscoll's training absence on Tuesday

Last Updated: 18/02/14 5:44pm

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O'Driscoll: Ready to face England

O'Driscoll: Ready to face England

Sky Bet

Brian O'Driscoll is expected to be fully fit for this weekend's Six Nations clash at Twickenham despite missing training on Tuesday due to illness.

The 35-year-old - set to match the all-time Six Nations' appearances record of 63 held by compatriot Ronan O'Gara - was reportedly 'under the weather' but is likely to take part in full training this Thursday, according to Ireland's assistant coach Les Kiss.

Kiss said: "Brian has a slight little bug but he will be fine for Thursday - and Saturday's international.

"Brian has a slight little bug but he will be fine for Thursday - and Saturday's international."
Les Kiss

"We're just managing it now, so we expect him to be fully fine by Thursday. He's not feeling the best - put it that way."

Kiss also said the Irish management team is delighted that Munster lock Donnacha Ryan was fit again.

He added: "It's great to see Donnacha back. He's come back in and trained the house down.

"He's a definite option. We've just got to consider everything and what our stocks are in that area.

"But it's certainly timely for him to be back after Dan Tuohy's injury (broken arm).

"Probably some pluses with Donnacha are that he's worked a lot with Paul (O'Connell, Ireland skipper) in terms of the line-out, and the calling systems are not too far removed in terms of that type of transfer, so that knowledge is a plus.

"In terms of the defensive and attack changes we've made since Joe's come along, he's got to get his head around those pretty quickly, but Donnacha's a smart boy."

Organised

And Kiss has singled out Billy Twelvetrees as being a key performer for England.

He went on: "I think he has developed that nice, organised mindset in his game very well.

"He's like a New Zealand second-five eighth, and does facilitate what they are trying to achieve in attack and offers them the ability to go both sides of the ruck, and so do (Jack) Nowell and (Mike) Brown and even (Jonny) May.

"It keeps you alive across the field, and I think Twelvetrees' game is critical for that, because it helps (Owen) Farrell as well.

"And that allows the brilliance of some of their individuals to come to the fore.

"Young Jack Nowell for example has been encouraged to throw himself into different moments of the game.

"That may look a little unstructured but they set that part of it up, even Danny Care having a dart here and there.

"And when you've got guys like Twelvetrees, Brown and May there, they can shift their game when they need to.

"They will eke out or look for the weaknesses and mismatches in your defence, so we just need to have our heads-up this week, that's for sure."

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