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Irish trio on the way back

By Gavin Mairs

There was positive news on the injury front from Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan said trio Brian O'Driscoll (fractured sinus), Shane Horgan (knee ligament tear) and David Wallace (ankle) were all on course to be available for the crunch World Cup games.

O'Driscoll, who suffered a fractured sinus during the Bayonne match last Thursday, is expected to link up with the squad in Belfast tomorrow to begin fitness work.

Shane Horgan, who tore a knee ligament during the warm-up before the match against Scotland in Murrayfield, is also continuing his rehabilitation while Wallace (ankle) is being rested purely as a precautionary measure.

" Brian is on the mend and he will probably be joining the squad tomorrow," said the Ireland coach.

"He will start back on fitness training. Obviously he has to be careful as to what he does because of the wound to his face and to avoid any collisions. But as of now he is on track. Shane Horgan has made some very good strides. He is with us in camp here and is working 24-7 on his knee. All the indicators are that he is on track to make a recovery.

"Now I suppose we will have to be realistic and we will have more data when we take a scan on his injury next week, which will give a better look at where he is. But all the indicators are so far that he is doing very well.

"There has been a lot of speculation about David as he hasn't been training or playing, but I do want to put people's minds at ease. He has a chronic ankle problem which has been giving him trouble on and off over the last couple of years. It is a management issue.

"He had a bit of a setback a few weeks ago when it flared up again and what we have been doing is keeping out of contact as much as possible. I expect that he will ready to start the first game at the World Cup, but I don't want him to have any setbacks before then. "

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