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Irish backs ready for action

Keith Earls insists Ireland's backline are ready to explode into life when they face Russia in Rotorua on Sunday.

On their day the Irish threequarters can be as dangerous as any in the game, but they have yet to set the World Cup alight during their two pool games. Heavy rain put a dent in ambitions against the United States, while the pack did such a comprehensive job in crushing Australia that there was little need to involve the backs.

"It's fair to say we haven't seen the best of us and that's down to conditions and playing the right territory on the pitch," he said.

"Against America the weather wasn't great and it wasn't a day for flashing the ball around, so we kept it quite tight.

"Even then we managed to break out a couple of times.

"Against Australia there wasn't a need to throw it around the backs because the forwards were playing so well.

"You'll see a lot more from our backline, hopefully starting from this weekend.

"If we get good weather hopefully we'll spread the ball around."

Winger Tommy Bowe suffered a bump on his calf against Australia and is to undergo a scan.

Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy are continuing to receive treatment on their hamstring injuries, while Stephen Ferris sat out training in order to manage his workload.

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