Iain Henderson on the charge in November's victory over New Zealand in Dublin
Iain Henderson on the charge in November’s victory over New Zealand in Dublin

Ireland coach Andy Farrell expects all players in his Six Nations squad to be fully training by the end of this week with the exception of Iain Henderson.

The Ulster lock, who has an ankle injury, is the only doubt for the opener against Wales on 5 February.

“That’s not to say he’s out of the Wales game yet – we’ll take it day-by-day,” said Farrell.

Joey Carbery will be available after a fractured elbow, with Farrell declaring the fly-half “fit as a fiddle”.

Carbery emerged as a major concern for the Six Nations campaign after sustaining the injury last month but the Munster man has recovered in time for the Aviva Stadium encounter against the defending champions.

Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton is set to start at fly-half with Carbery and Connacht’s Jack Carty vying for the back-up spot.

Joe Carberry
Joey Carbery has scored 136 points in his 27 caps for Ireland

Henderson was named in the 37-man squad despite missing most of the season because of injury.

“To sum it up, we expect everyone bar Iain Henderson to be training fully with us by the end of the week,” Farrell added at the Six Nations launch on Wednesday.

“Joey has been keeping fighting fit from week two after his injury to his elbow, so he’s fit as a fiddle.

“He has been doing all the ball skills etc. constantly and the only thing he had to wait on was to get the all-clear to get back into contact and he’s had that now so it’s all systems go.”

Josh van Flier (groin), Tadhg Furlong (calf) and James Ryan (hamstring) were also fitness concerns after picking up injuries recently but they are now poised to take on the Welsh.

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