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Rugby World Cup 2023: Ireland back row Jack Conan ruled out of Tonga game but trio set to return

Dan Sheehan training with Ireland
Dan Sheehan (left) is in contention to face Tonga having trained fully on Wednesday

2023 Rugby World Cup: Pool B - Ireland v Tonga

Venue: Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes Date: Saturday, 16 September Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Sounds and online; follow text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Ireland back row Jack Conan has been ruled out of Saturday's World Cup game against Tonga, but the coaching staff are hopeful he will recover in time to face South Africa.

Number eight Conan, 31, has not played since injuring his foot in the warm-up win over Italy on 5 August.

However, Dave Kilcoyne, Robbie Henshaw and Dan Sheehan could face Tonga after training fully on Wednesday.

But Ireland team manager Mick Kearney says it will come too early for Conan.

"Very good training session today, everybody came through that really well," said Kearney.

"Jack was out running, which was a real positive, and while Saturday will come a little bit early for him, I think that the signs are really positive in terms of being available to train fully next week, and hopefully he will be available for South Africa.

"It's his first [time on the training pitch] for the last few days. He has been doing most of his rehab in the gym with the physios.

"Today was obviously a very big day for him in terms of getting out and running. He ran really well, it's really positive and he was in a good place afterwards."

When asked about prop Kilcoyne (hamstring), centre Henshaw (hamstring) and hooker Sheehan (foot), Kearney added: "They were all integrated fully into training today, and all trained fully, so that's positive as well."

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will name his team to play Tonga in Nantes on Thursday afternoon.

The Irish opened their World Cup campaign with a 12-try destruction of Romania in Bordeaux on Saturday, with captain Johnny Sexton scoring two tries on his return to action.

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