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Ireland

Sexton and O'Driscoll injury doubts

20th November 2013 18:00

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Jonathan Sexton v Australia

Hamstring injury: Jonny Sexton

Doubts remain over the fitness of Ireland pair Jonny Sexton and Brian O'Driscoll ahead of their final November Test on Sunday.

The Irishmen take on New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium, but are left sweating over the British and Irish Lions pair.

Centre O'Driscoll is undergoing treatment for a calf injury, while fly-half Sexton is still nursing a hamstring problem.

Forwards coach John Plumtree, however, chose to look on the bright side.

"It's hard to say if they'll be available. The nice thing is that we've got a long turnaround this week," Plumtree told Sky Sports.

"It's only Wednesday, so they've got a day off on Thursday and then come in on Friday. We've got that extra day which is great and hopefully by the time they come in on Friday they'll be feeling a lot better."

There was better news regarding fellow Lion Rob Kearney, however, who returned to training on Wednesday.

"Rob trained all right. I'm not sure how he's feeling afterwards, but he took part full in the session, which was good. I'm sure he'll be all right," added Plumtree.

The forwards coach was irked by his side's poor performance on Saturday against Australia, losing 32-15, with the trio all picking up injuries.

"We were very average against Australia and we're very disappointed with that performance. We scrummed poorly," acknowledged Plumtree.

"We conceded a soft try from their drive which the boys are fuming at. We knew it was coming, but we didn't execute the plan we had in place, which makes it doubly irritating.

"There's been an extra edge in the forwards this week and there has to be. We're playing against probably the best side in the world and the pack needs to front up big time.

"As a pack New Zealand are the ultimate test. It doesn't get any tougher than this and we were irritated with our performance last week."

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