Ireland got their Six Nations campaign back on track thanks to a 22-13 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Their opening weekend defeat at home to England means it looks unlikely they will retain their championship but the only focus for Ireland will be their remaining games against Italy, France and Wales.
Ireland have been hit by a raft of injuries so far in this championship but the good news is that they look set to welcome back a number of big names in the coming weeks.
The Munster man injured his knee in the southern province’s victory over the Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park in the last pool match of this season’s Champions Cup.
The powerful second-row was earmarked for a return ahead of Round 3 and that looks to be the case with Joe Schmidt confirming the 27-year-old should be in contention for Italy in less than two weeks time.
Ireland have been hit by a number of injuries in the second-row with Devin Toner ruled out of the remainder of the championship and Iain Henderson also unavailable.
Beirne’s power and turnover skills will come as a welcome boost to an Irish side who have lacked a bit of aggression up front and whose threat at poaching opposition ball on the deck has been severely lacking thus far.
The talented outside centre missed Ireland’s trip to Murrayfield due to a hamstring strain. Leinster confirmed today that the injury is “slight” and it is expected the 24-year-old will return to camp next week as preparations begin for Italy.
The Leinster centre was ruled out Saturday’s clash with France due to a dead leg but the injury shouldn’t rule him out for too long as he is expected to be back for the trip to Rome to face Italy.
The Connacht scrum-half, who performed so brilliantly in Ireland’s victory over the All Blacks in November, has been out of action since undergoing ankle surgery after the Autumn series.
It was expected that he would return in time for the Six Nations but that has been delayed somewhat and he should be line for a return next week.
The Munster winger hasn’t been available to Ireland due to calf tightness but the southern province confirmed today that he has returned to full training.
It remains to be seen whether he will play against the Southern Kings on Friday night but if he comes through training unscathed this week, he should take part in preparations for Italy next week at Carton House.
The Ulster man hasn’t been involved due to a dislocated finger but he won’t return in time for Ireland clashes with Italy or France.
At best, he will fit enough to be in contention for the final trip to Wales.