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Monday 27 March 2017

Coach Schmidt awaits results of T-Day in Carton House for Murray, Sexton and Kearney

Johnny Sexton. Photo: Sportsfile
Johnny Sexton. Photo: Sportsfile

Jonathan Sexton, Rob Kearney and Conor Murray are all scheduled to train fully out in Carton House on what could aptly be described as 'T-Day.'

Today, or Tuesday, or even Training Day, has been deemed the cut-off point for Ireland's half-backs and full-back.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt tends towards having his first team come together to fine tune the gamer strategy for France.

"Well, if you talk to Johnny and Rob they'll both say that they're 100 per cent fit and ready to go," said Dean.

"We just need the medics to pass them and they need to prove to us that they are."

Other than that, it is all systems go for Murray, fresh from modified training in Monaghan at the latter end of last week, and flanker Peter O'Mahony.

There was no indication of any mishap with Connacht second row Ultan Dillane, other than the fact he is not injured.

The call-up of Quinn Roux, a noted scrummager, could indicate the Ireland management's concern at what is a monster France scrum.

Dean did nothing to play down the report from Midi Olympique that Ian Madigan has requested to be released from the final year of his contract at Bordeaux Begles.

"He'd be better coming home in my book, let's say," said the former Ireland international.

"I'd personally love to see him back in Ireland. We'll be able to invite him to the sessions, keep an eye on him and watch his progress.

"It's difficult when you're abroad, as we all know."

At Leinster, Stuart Lancaster had to deliver bad news on the health of Josh van der Flier and Dave Kearney.

The senior coach confirmed the impression about the flanker's Grade-3 AC-shoulder joint injury on foot of his omission from the Ireland squad.

"We've still got to get an opinion on it but there are players we know who've turned it around within three weeks.

"It sounds terrible but actually you can turn this around in quite a short space of time depending on what the experts say."

Kearney suffered a toe injury to add to his return-to-play protocols from a head injury.

"It's a frustrating one for him because he's worked really hard to get fit and now he's going to have a couple more weeks on the sideline," said Lancaster.

"It's a small setback but he's going to be fit come the end of the season and we're going to need players like Dave fit and available."

Further to this, out-half Joey Carbery (cramp), centre Noel Reid (head) and second row Mike McCarthy (cramp) are expected to make it back for the Dragons on Friday night.

There is less certainty over the bang Rory O'Loughlin took to his AC-joint, although there is optimism he will be ready for Rodney Parade.

Concussion victim Dominic Ryan will not make it due to the medial ligament damage done to his knee in the process of his head coming into contact with Magnus Bradbury's hip.

Club captain Isa Nacewa is a couple of weeks away from his return.

On a more positive note, flanker Rhys Ruddock has entered back into full-on training this week.

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