Mixed injury news for Ireland as Jamie Heaslip is likely to return but Stephen Ferris is ruled out

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has been handed more options ahead of the crucial Six Nations matchup against France this weekend.

Jamie Heaslip and Andrew Trimble have come through training this week without any adverse affects to their respective ankle and hand injurys.

However, Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris has been ruled out after losing his battle with a knee injury.

Ireland are confident enough in Heaslip and Trimble's recoveries that they will forego their initial considerations to give the trio more time to recover and announce the lineup today.

Manager Paul McNaughton said: "We felt earlier today we weren't in a position to name the team as there was too much doubt on the fitness of several players.

But following training this afternoon, Andrew Trimble and Jamie Heaslip came through the session okay.

We felt there was no need to actually hold off on selection, so we will go ahead as planned tomorrow. We were also able to confirm that Stephen Ferris is still not ready for a return to play and has been ruled out of the France game."

 Leinster duo Sean O'Brien and Fergus McFadden are likely to drop out of the team to allow the return of Trimble and Heaslip. Heaslip's return will come as huge news to the whole Irish camp as over the past few seasons he has established himself as one of the most important players in the team. Trimble will give the team an added spark in the place of McFadden as he possesses greater physical tools as well as the added bonus of extra experience even though he remains a youthful player.