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Murray and Sexton fit for England clash

Press Association logoPress Association 13/03/2017 Nick Purewal

Ireland have patched up influential halves Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton and insist both will be fit to face England in Saturday's RBS Six Nations finale.

Sexton has passed a head injury assessment (HIA) and been cleared of concussion, while Murray has shaken off a 'stinger' problem to his left shoulder.

Both Sexton and Murray were in the wars in Ireland's 22-9 defeat in Wales on Friday night, but Ireland remain adamant the key duo will feature in Dublin this weekend.

Winger ommy Bowe suffered a suspected broken leg in Cardiff, and has been replaced by Fergus McFadden.

"Johnny Sexton underwent a precautionary HIA at the weekend. Concussion has been ruled out and he's available for selection," Ireland team manager Paul Dean said.

"Jonathan went through all the concussion tests, so he's completely clear. He has a black eye, which is not his best look, but other than that, he should be fine.

"Conor Murray sustained a stinger injury to his left shoulder. He's responded well to treatment and he's available for selection."

Ireland will be seeking to avoid losing all three Triple Crown matches in one championship for the first time since 1998 in Saturday's Aviva Stadium showdown.

England will be chasing back-to-back grand slam crowns for the first time in the Six Nations era, and also the outright world record of 19 consecutive victories.

Ireland ended New Zealand's record winning run at 18 in Chicago, and back-rower Peter O'Mahony sees no reason why Joe Schmidt's team cannot stop Eddie Jones' England side on the same number this weekend.

Asked if he had any doubts in Ireland's coaching plan, O'Mahony replied: "Not at all. I've said it already but we really are close.

"Four months ago you go and beat the All Blacks, and it's a different press conference to what we're having now.

"It's pretty much the same squad - we've just got to finish off the small things and we can beat anybody in the world on our day."

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