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Owen Farrell fit to face Ireland in England's Six Nations opener

Owen Farrell joined the captains and coaches from England's Six Nations opponents at the tournament launch in London Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

England captain Owen Farrell said on Wednesday he is recovering well from hand surgery and fully expects to be fit to face Ireland in the Six Nations on Saturday Feb. 2.

"The hand is good. I had something small done to it on the weekend," Farrell said at the tournament launch in London, following an operation to repair a thumb tendon.

"I should be training towards the end of this week. It was a gradual thing and is something small."

When asked if he expected to play against Ireland, Farrell said: "I'm confident, yes."

Coach Eddie Jones said he had very few injury concerns -- in contrast to the November Internationals when he was forced to try a number of new combinations.

"I'm confident Owen's going to play and we've got George [Ford] there so we're well stocked for No. 10s at the moment," Jones said.

"The one thing consistent about international rugby is the inconsistency of your squad. You work out how you're going to play, who's going to play and then you take it from there.

"Every player is motivated and 100 percent committed. Obviously it's great to have blokes like Billy and Mako [Vunipola], Joe Launchbury and Ellis Genge back, they're great players, but those who played in the autumn did a fantastic job.

"We are flying out to Portugal today -- there are a couple [of players who are] a little bit sore from the weekend but [we have] probably got 34 of the 36 who could train today if they needed to."

England's opening opponents Ireland also enter the tournament with injury concerns at fly-half. World Player of the Year Johnny Sexton has been inactive since December but is set to travel with the training squad to Portugal having joined training on Tuesday.

"His last two days have been pretty quiet," Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said. "He will train fully on Thursday when we'll try to ramp the training up a little bit. Our expectation is that he'll get through that without any problems at all.

"He's very confident, the medical staff are confident and so are we."