Dan Sheehan: Andy Farrell expects Ireland hooker to be fit for World Cup

Dan Sheehan receives treatment after injuring his foot against England
Sheehan was forced off during the win over England with a sprained foot

World Cup warm-up - Ireland v Samoa

Venue: Stade Jean-Dauger, Bayonne Date: Saturday, 26 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Live text updates, match report and reaction on the BBC Sport website & app

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says he expects injured hooker Dan Sheehan to regain his fitness in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Sheehan sprained his foot during Ireland's win over England on Saturday.

A report suggested the Leinster forward, 26, could miss up to eight weeks, but Farrell says he is "better than expected".

"He has a sprain in his foot, better than expected, should be fit for the World Cup," said Farrell.

When asked if Sheehan will be fit in time to feature in Ireland's tournament opener against Romania on 9 September, Farrell added: "We'll see how he progresses over the coming weeks but, as I said, with all injuries you see how they develop over the period of time, don't you, but we expect him to be fit for the World Cup."

Farrell will name his 33-man World Cup squad on Monday with the Samoa game offering players one last chance to ensure they make the cut.

However, the Englishman insisted there was no specific message for players fighting for places ahead of Saturday's Test in Bayonne, with the likes of Tom Stewart and Stuart McCloskey handed a big chance to impress before the squad announcement.

He said: "There's no message, the messages have been over the last 10 weeks of how we prepare to be the best team you possibly can be, how you adjust and adapt to that is the pressure of playing top-level rugby so they know that and they'll push forward with that in mind."

While Ireland secured wins over Italy and England, Farrell described elements of the performances as "clunky" as the world's number one-ranked side ramped up preparations for the World Cup.

When asked what improvements he would like to see on Saturday, Farrell said: "I think we got better, certainly in the second game. Second some fantastic tries.

"[It's] consistency, isn't it? That's why we play the warm-up games and get some of the rust out and show pictures to one another about what's acceptable and what's not.

"We're here to take a step forward in our development as a team."

Door not closed on Stockdale - Farrell

While Farrell's team for the Samoa Test shows 12 changes from the side that started last week's win over England, there is no place in the 23 for Ulster wing Jacob Stockdale.

Stockdale, who has 19 tries in 36 caps, made his first appearance in two years in the win over Italy in Dublin but has now been left out of the last two matchday squads.

Farrell last week cut Kieran Treadwell, Caolin Blade, Gavin Coombes, Calvin Nash and Jamie Osborne from his squad, but the head coach insists Stockdale - as well as fly-half Ciaran Frawley - remain "in the mix".

"Well, we haven't selected the squad yet. Everyone is still in the mix.

"There's a good few days to go, in that regard."