World Cup 2015: Clock ticking on Cian Healy fitness battle

Cian Healy has been stepping up his training in recent weeks
Cian Healy has been stepping up his training in recent weeks
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Ireland defence coach Les Kiss has conceded that the clock is ticking on Leinster forward Cian Healy's battle to be fit for the Rugby World Cup.

Kiss believes "each hour matters" for loosehead prop Healy as he fights to beat his neck injury ahead of Ireland naming their 31-man World Cup squad.

Healy is stepping up training on his protracted comeback from neck surgery.

"We want to give Cian as much time as possible. He did more in the session on Tuesday which is promising," said Kiss.

The Australian, a member of Joe Schmidt's coaching team, remains unsure however whether he will be fit for the visit of Wales to Dublin for Saturday's warm-up game.

Ireland must submit their World Cup squad on Monday, with Andrew Trimble passed fit after a foot sprain but Marty Moore struggling with a foot problem.

Marty Moore
Marty Moore has been trying to overcome a foot injury

"Cian is gradually being exposed to more and more rugby and he did a lot in the session today (Tuesday)," said Kiss.

"I did some personal work with him at the end of the session around the contact area so some positive results are coming through there.

"As has been the case all the way along he'll get assessed by the medics at the end of the session. Then we'll think forward from there about where he is going.

"I'm not sure if we'd be able to say that's a chance of playing (against Wales). Each hour matters for Cian at the moment and we've got people working on the rehab things.

Ireland launch their World Cup Pool D bid on Saturday, September 19 by facing Canada at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Kiss insisted Healy's chances of World Cup selection do not simply rest on whether he is fit to face Wales at the Aviva Stadium this weekend.

"When it comes down to the decision on Sunday night we'll think about that one," said Kiss when asked how much bearing form would take on final selection.

Ireland's remaining World Cup warm-up games
Wales (home)Saturday 29 August
England (away)Saturday 5 September

"I don't know if it's about fairness or not, I think it's about everything that's been done.

"I know the people we have working with him are experts in their area and we'll take a lot of feedback from Cian and we'll involve him in that decision. I'm sure the type of information we'll gather from all the areas will be enough to inform us to make a decision."

Leinster tighthead prop Moore's latest injury struggle could pave the way for Connacht's Nathan White to sneak into Ireland's final World Cup ranks.

Kiss has refused to rule Moore out of Saturday's warm-up Test clash with Wales however, despite the 24-year-old still wearing a compression boot to help boost his recovery.

"Marty is in a boot still. It's there to protect the joint," explained Kiss, who will assume the role of Head Coach at Ulster after the World Cup.

"He'll train on Thursday and that will give him and us a good idea of where he is and that should be able to prove whether he is available on the weekend.

"Andrew Trimble has come up really good, he trained fully so he's fit to go. We know that Andrew has delivered in the past."

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