O’Brien out of meeting with England

Sean O'Brien has been ruled out of Ireland's game against England after suffering a grade two hamstring tear.

The openside suffered the injury in the first half during last Saturday's loss to France in Paris, having also missed Ireland's first match of the Six Nations against Wales.

Winger Dave Kearney is also expected to miss the game on February 27, but Jonathan Sexton is recovering well after suffering a "whiplash" injury.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told the Irish Rugby website: "48-hours post-game, we've had some time to get some assessments done and Mike McCarthy obviously suffered concussion and he will follow return-to-play protocols but we'll also get him to see a specialist just because of the nature of the impact.

"Sean O'Brien, unfortunately he's got a grade two hamstring tear and that will make him unavailable for the England game and we'll see how he tracks beyond that.

"Dave Kearney has got an AC joint injury and a very sore shoulder and neck and he is also very likely to miss the Engaland game as a result of that.

"We've got Jonathan Sexton, and again his neck and shoulder is more of a whiplash injury and he is certainly feeling an awful lot better 48 hours post-game.

"Jared Payne has got a grade one hamstring strain that he did in the first half, we had already had to put Fergus McFadden on when Dave Kearney got taken out, on the basis of that , Jared really just said he'd go as long as he could and he was doing such a good job for us defensively, he managed to get himself through that but he certainly won't train this week and we'll just have to monitor him in the lead-up to the England game.

"On a positive side, Cian Healy and Mike Ross got through some time in the weekend for Leinster and they'll spend a little time with us this week before going back to play again for Leinster on the weekend."