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Fitness of Republic of Ireland's Stephen Ward a 'major concern'

Republic of Ireland's Stephen Ward lies injured
Picture by AP
Damian Spellman in Versailles

REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has a major fitness concern over full-back Stephen Ward ahead of Sunday's Euro 2016 clash with hosts France.

The Burnley defender damaged an ankle during the first half of Wednesday night's 1-0 Group E victory over Italy in Lille, but managed to complete the match as the Republic booked their place in the last 16.

However, O'Neill revealed on Thursday afternoon that Ward was a concern, and he did not train on Friday morning when the rest of the squad continued their preparations in Versailles.

Striker Jonathan Walters, who missed the games against Belgium and Italy with an Achilles injury, did work with his team-mates, though, to hand O'Neill a welcome boost.

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