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Ireland wait on Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne fitness ahead of Australia clash

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Sean O'Brien will undergo a fitness test ahead of the clash with Australia

Sean O'Brien will undergo a fitness test ahead of the clash with Australia

Sean O'Brien will undergo a fitness test ahead of the clash with Australia

Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne are late doubts for Ireland's final autumn Test against Australia in Dublin on Saturday.

The pair sat out Friday's captain's run training session with "lower-limb tweaks", according to assistant coach Andy Farrell, who is confident they will both pass fitness tests ahead of the game.

Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony is, however, standing by to cover O'Brien with Rory Scannell on hand if centre Payne is ruled out. 

Ireland wait on Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne fitness ahead of Australia clash

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"We've had a couple of guys that's had a couple of niggles, and the captain's run is normally just a stretching-legs type session," said Farrell on Friday lunchtime.

Ireland wait on Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne fitness ahead of Australia clash

Ireland wait on Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne fitness ahead of Australia clash

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"We made a couple of decisions this morning to rest Jared Payne and Sean O'Brien and see how they are in the morning.

"We'll have a discussion in the morning about their situation. They both have just lower-limb tweaks, that's what normally happens during the week.

"You pick things up on the way from the game, through the week and so on.

Jared Payne is also a doubt for Ireland

Jared Payne is also a doubt for Ireland

Jared Payne is also a doubt for Ireland

"The main session was yesterday and we decided to give a couple of players more time.

"We've kept Peter O'Mahony here, and we've got Rory Scannell as well covering for Jared Payne.

"All the main work's been done already, that's why we are resting them, to give them every chance to feel 100 per cent."

Captain Rory Best will become the fifth Irishman to win 100 Test caps on Saturday - following in the footsteps of Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara and John Hayes - and Farrell reckons he is producing the best rugby of his career at the age of 34.

Ireland wait on Sean O'Brien and Jared Payne fitness ahead of Australia clash

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"I think he's outstanding," said Farrell of Best. "I can actually say I think he's playing better than ever, because I've seen it over the last six months.

"Captaincy at this level is a tough old gig. He took over the Six Nations last year, filling in big shoes. I was on tour in South Africa I was very impressed with his leadership then, and now we've come to the autumn series and it's gone up another level.

"I believe the captaincy, his composure is married together massively with his appetite to improve and get better."

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