Rugby World Cup
Ireland face wait on influential duo
ESPNscrum Staff
September 19, 2011
Ireland's Paul O'Connell celebrates his side's historic win over Australia, Australia v Ireland, Rugby World Cup, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, September 17, 2011
O'Connell was in inspired form against Australia © Getty Images

Ireland will give key duo Gordon D'Arcy and Paul O'Connell until Friday to prove their fitness ahead of Sunday's clash with Russia in Rotorua.

The duo underwent scans on Monday which confirmed they had both suffered hamstring strains during the 15-6 Pool C win over Australia on Saturday. An Ireland press release said both players would be monitored over the coming days but no decision would be made until the team to face the Bears is announced Friday.

The Ireland squad enjoyed a rest day after relocating their team base from Auckland to Lake Taupo as they prepared to face Russia. Second-row Donncha O'Callaghan said: "With a bit of a longer turnaround this week than we had for the Australia game, it's great to be able to have that extra day to let the bumps and bruises settle before we hit the training pitch again.

"There was an incredible buzz around the lads when we were setting off from Auckland to come down here. You expect that after a good win, but something we've all been chatting about is that we need to remain focused on the job at hand.

"Our goal has always been to qualify from our pool and just because we had a big win on Saturday night, it guarantees us nothing. We have two games left against two teams (Russia and Italy) who will challenge us physically across the park, so we want to get ourselves right for that."

O'Callaghan also praised the support Ireland have received thus far during the World Cup saying: "The amount of green in the stadium on Saturday was incredible, as it was in New Plymouth (against USA). Hopefully we can get similar support in Rotorua this week."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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