Ireland v France, Dublin, August 20
O'Driscoll set to face France
ESPNscrum Staff
August 15, 2011
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll looks for an opening, Scotland v Ireland, Six Nations, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 27, 2011
Talismanic Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll has been battling a shoulder/neck injury © Getty Images

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll is expected to be in the selection mix for Saturday's return clash with France.

O'Driscoll missed his side's 19-12 defeat to France in Bordeaux on Saturday night and their previous World Cup warm-up defeat to Scotland because of a neck/shoulder injury. But the 32-year-old centre is nearing full fitness and could feature at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

He may be joined by centre Gordon D'Arcy and flanker Stephen Ferris, who have also spent the summer on the sidelines with respective ankle and knee injuries. Wing Tommy Bowe, who is struggling with an ankle problem, should be in action against England a week later.

"Brian O'Driscoll, Stephen Ferris and Gordon D'Arcy are all continuing to progress well," said manager Paul McNaughton. "It's expected that they will be upping their involvement in training this week and will be in contention for selection. "Tommy Bowe is also making progress and it is hoped that he will be in line for selection the week after."

Fullback Rob Kearney limped off with a groin problem during the second half of the Stade Chaban Delmas defeat by France and his fitness is being monitored. "Rob had a scan to examine the extent of the injury today and will be reviewed again tomorrow," said McNaughton.

"At the outset the injury does not seem too serious, but we will wait to see the result of the scan and also how the injury settles before we review it. Outside of the normal bumps and minor knocks from a test match, there are no other major injuries to report."

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