Ireland leave out Rob Kearney and Keith Earls, Bundee Aki starts

Ireland leave out Rob Kearney and Keith Earls, Bundee Aki starts”

Ireland have received a much-needed boost ahead of their Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama this weekend after Rob Kearney and Keith Earls declared fit for the key encounter.

A decision on the participation of Earls and Kearney will be made after Friday's session.

"We have something like a combined total of 630 caps, so that's hugely important", Townsend said.

Kearney and Earls have calf and knee issues, respectively, and trained this week.

"Obviously we delight in but another session to head on Friday".

"They're readily accessible. There are a pair of protocols that they must slip to, we must make certain we adhere as some distance as the protocols with the medical workers, nonetheless they are very delighted". We're missing probably just two of three players from every available Scotland player, so to get a squad that has this kind of experience for this kind of game is a real bonus.

However, it is hoped the Leinster centre will be fit for for Ireland's second Pool A game against hosts Japan.

"We know Ireland are a very good team, we play against them every year".

Former dual code worldwide Farrell admitted Ireland have trained with added "bite" this week, as they sharpen up for their biggest match in some time.

"I've seen that through the way they have trained and acted in the last few days".

Assistant coach Andy Farrell has said this morning that the coaches won't take any unnecessary risks when it comes to the fitness of players.

"It's your opening game of the World Cup and you are playing a team that are now ranked number one in the world".

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