Rob Kearney injury doubt for Ireland's Rugby World Cup opener
Better news on Carbery and Earls ahead of Sunday's Pool A clash against Scotland in Yokohama
By Max Mathews
Last Updated: 17/09/19 4:04pm
Rob Kearney faces a race against time to recover for Ireland's World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday.
The 92-cap full-back is believed to have picked up some tightness in his calf during training on Monday, giving head coach Joe Schmidt an injury headache.
Kearney will, however, have the chance to prove his fitness on Wednesday to shore up an already depleted backline after the likely loss of powerhouse centre Robbie Henshaw due to a hamstring problem.
Ireland also confirmed fly-half and Johnny Sexton's back-up Joey Carbery trained fully and probable starter Keith Earls, who is managing a thigh problem, ran on Monday.
Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek said: "From what we saw, things are reasonably positive.
"Some of these guys can improve dramatically day-by-day compared to the average human.
"It's looking positive, so we'll reassess in the not-too-distant future."
Leinster veteran Kearney, 33, put in a strong performance in the 19-10 victory over Wales in Dublin on September 7 which completed Ireland's warm-up fixtures, and he is a key defensive lynchpin of the team.
Andrew Conway, with only 15 caps and naturally more comfortable on the wing, and 22-year-old Jordan Larmour would be potential replacements at 15 for Sunday's Pool A game in Yokohama.