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Six Nations England v Ireland: Jared Payne a doubt for Twickenham, says Joe Schmidt

By Jonathan Bradley

Given the nature of Ireland's physical encounter with France on Saturday, a lengthy injury update was always to be expected yesterday but the news was not good for their flagging Six Nations campaign.

Three of Joe Schmidt's starting XV from last weekend are certain to miss the trip to face England next Saturday while another two remain doubtful.

Sean O'Brien's hamstring tear will definitely rule him out with Dave Kearney (shoulder) and Mike McCarthy (concussion) also set to miss the game.

Ulster's Jared Payne played through a hamstring strain in the Stade de France and will miss training this week ahead of being re-evaluated closer to the England clash and the update on the status of Jonathan Sexton's prospects was vague.

"We had time to get some assessments done," said Schmidt yesterday.

"Mike McCarthy suffered a concussion and will go through the return to play protocols but we'll get him to see a specialist.

"Sean O'Brien has a grade two hamstring tear that will make him unavailable for the England game. Dave Kearney has got an AC joint injury, a very sore shoulder and neck, and he's also very likely to miss the England game because of that.

"Jonathan Sexton, is feeling a lot better 48 hours post-game.

"Jared Payne has a grade one hamstring strain that he actually did in the first-half.

"He was doing such a good job for us, defensively he really shut down a few opportunities.

"He managed to get himself through that but he won't train this week and we'll have to monitor him.

"On the positive side, Cian Healy and Mike Ross got through a bit of time with Leinster, they'll spend a little time with us in the week before going back to play with Leinster."

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