Fitzpatrick remains injury worry for Ireland

Ireland and Ulster prop, Declan Fitzpatrick
Ireland and Ulster prop, Declan Fitzpatrick

Ireland received mixed news on the injury front on Tuesday when it was confirmed Paul O’Connell and Cian Healy are winning their fitness battles.

But, Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick is not training with the squad due to concussion.

The forward pair of O’Connell and Healy were a doubt for Saturday’s Guinness Series opener against South Africa at Lansdowne Road due to their respective back and shoulder problems.

But they took a full part in training on Tuesday and should be available to face the Springboks.

With established internationals Brian O’Driscoll, Sean O’Brien, Stephen Ferris, Rob Kearney and Rory Best already ruled out, Ireland could ill-afford any further losses.

“Paul trained fully today and did everything in training - scrum, line-out and contact,” assistant coach Mark Tainton said.

“We’ll see what happens over the next 24 hours but we don’t envisage any reaction to what he did today. It’s looking good from his side.

“Cian did a full session today and there were no problems with his shoulder during a live scrummaging session. He showed full power.”