September 17, 2019 / 7:19 AM / a month ago

Ireland's Kearney doubtful for World Cup opener

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Ireland - BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Britain - February 9, 2019 Ireland's Rob Kearney arrives at the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ireland fullback Rob Kearney is in doubt for its Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland on Sunday after sustaining a calf problem in training, a team spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old, who has 92 caps, will be monitored by the medical team to gauge his fitness ahead of Ireland’s Pool A game in Yokohama.

"He's got a bit of tightness in his calf," an Ireland spokesman told the World Cup website here

“There’s no training today. We’ll be able to update again (on Wednesday) on how he’s going.”

Kearney’s potential absence for the world’s top-ranked team would be a further injury blow with centre Robbie Henshaw set to miss the Scotland game due to a hamstring issue.

Winger Keith Earls is still returning to fitness following an injury sustained during this month’s 19-10 warm-up victory over Wales.

Joey Carbery returned to training on Monday for the first time since suffering an ankle ligament injury as Joe Schmidt’s team beat Italy 29-10 in Dublin last month.

Kearney’s Leinster team mate Jordan Larmour could fill in for him while Munster’s Andrew Conway is another option.

Six-times quarter-finalists Ireland also face hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa in the group stages.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens

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