Ireland kicking coach Richie Murphy said that Joey Carbery's recovery from the ankle injury which he suffered during the World Cup warm-up game against Italy earlier this month is going well.
Should his rehabilitation go as planned, the Munster out-half should be fit in time for Ireland's first game in Japan against Scotland.
"Joey is doing really well," Murphy said at a press conference at Ireland's training camp in Portugal.
Obviously, the time-frame around his injury has been well-stated. He's recovering really well, he's well into his recovery programme. Talking to him, he feels good and confident.
He's exactly where the medics would expect him to be at this stage.
He's definitely trying to get back for that first Scottish game. It's a case of how we manage that and also manage the squad because although he is very much online for that time-frame, we also have to have contingency plans in place. We'll look at them through the next couple weeks and try to get game-time for certain people.
The Ireland squad arrived in Faro last Wednesday and have since had training sessions on Thursday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.
Due to "soreness" Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and Keith Earls all sat out Tuesday's session but, according to Murphy, there are "no real fears" regarding their availability for Saturday's game against England.
Asked how they would approach the situation, should there be uncertainty regarding Carbery's fitness for the tournament, Murphy said:
"We've left that quite open at the moment and we have conversations in and around the make-up of the squad.
"I've heard a lot of conversations going on about [bringing] three number nines or three number tens and how that breaks down.
"We'll make an assessment a little bit closer, we're not making assessments at the moment.
"We're just watching him, keeping a very close eye on how he's progressing. At this moment, we're pretty happy with where he's at but the form of other players will determine whether there is a spot for there for him or not.
"Opportunities will go to the likes of Jack [Carty] and Ross [Byrne] as well as Johnny [Sexton] getting game-time over the next few weeks."
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