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Published: 15:26 | 3/2/16

Ireland still hopeful on O'Brien

Ireland hope Sean O'Brien will be fit to face Wales on Sunday despite the Leinster flanker missing training on Wednesday with a "tight hamstring".

O'Brien was the only Ireland player not to participate in Ireland's session at Carton House ahead of the Six Nations opener against Warren Gatland's side at the Aviva Stadium on 7 February.

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby says the decision to rest the 28-year-old was "more precautionary than anything".

"Sean was just a tight hamstring. There's nothing unusual there, it's something that he might have had in the past and other players have these things. You've just got to manage him," he said.

"He doesn't have to train again until Friday, so we're pretty comfortable with the amount of work he's got in in the early part of this week and last week to feel that we could manage his tightness."

"We've got Friday and Saturday, because we've got a longer week this week we're into the Sunday game. So we're in a good place, we feel pretty comfortable."

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose joined the training group at Maynooth with Easterby confirming that the 21-year-old was called up to add numbers following Luke Fitzgerald's medial ligament injury.

“We haven’t replaced Luke Fitzgerald yet, so Garry Ringrose came in to cover for him because Leinster have no game this week," he said.

"We’re pretty happy with where we are in terms of guys’ availability from the original squad.

“We haven’t named a replacement for Luke, a permanent replacement. Garry was only in currently just for today’s [Wednesday] session.

"He may come back in later in the week, but like I say we haven’t named a full-time replacement for Luke yet. “

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