Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ward train for Ireland

There's good news for the Ireland squad on the injury front - Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ward are both training with the squad in Lyon.

Ward was a doubt after he missed training yesterday after injuring his ankle during the 1-0 win over Italy.

Walters missed Ireland's final two group game with an Acilles problem.

However, both look to be available to Martin O'Neill for tomorrow's last-16 clash against France.

Jonathan Walters in training today. Picture: Sportsfile
Jonathan Walters in training today. Picture: Sportsfile

Northern Ireland will be aiming to reach the quarter-finals at 5pm. They need to get past Wales in Paris.

Meanwhile, French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has warned France Ireland will be more intent on making their name at Euro 2016 by dumping the hosts out of the competition than exorcising the ghost of Thierry Henry.

The two sides meet in the last 16 in Lyon on Sunday almost seven years after Henry's handball at the Stade de France broke Irish hearts and denied them a place at the 2010 World Cup finals.

Both camps have sought to play down talk of revenge despite intense media coverage - the 2009 World Cup play-off second leg was shown in its entirety on French television on Friday night - and France skipper Lloris, who played in the game, insisted Ireland would have bigger fish to fry.

He said: "I don't know if the Irish are necessarily out for revenge. That's part of history, that's in the past.

"Tomorrow's fixture is part of the European Championships at home and we have noticed since the start of the tournament, we are a little bit the team to beat. That does give the opposition added motivation to try and bring down the host nation.

"That is no doubt going to be another aim for the Irish, but we're not focussed on that at all, we're preparing very calmly on our side of things and tomorrow we need to make sure that we are ready for the battle."

A controversial 1-1 draw in St Denis that night secured France's passage after a 1-0 win in Dublin in the first leg, but the Republic were the better side on the night.

However, Lloris denied there was over-confidence in 2009 and insisted there would be none on Sunday either as the possibility of a quarter-final clash with either England or Iceland looms.

He said: "If I'm honest, I don't think we are over-confident at all. We have a lot of respect for the Republic of Ireland. We have been able to watch them on video. Despite the second half against Belgium, they have shown a lot of good stuff against Sweden and especially against Italy.

"They are perhaps even a little bit more excited because they went through in the last few minutes against Italy. They are where they are. I think they are very motivated, but we will also be up for it too."

Whatever the result, it is likely to be a landmark day for Lloris, who will captain his country for a record 55th time, in the process overtaking the total managed by his manager Didier Deschamps.

Lloris said: "Of course it's nice, but to be honest at this moment in time, I'm more focussed on competition as a whole and what matters for me and my team-mates is to try to go as far as possible in the European Championships.

"I have no desire at all to compare myself to Didier Deschamps, what he might have represented as a player or captain, nor indeed Michel Platini. Football evolves, as do people's mentalities."

When asked about the feat, Deschamps joked: "Maybe. He could play, but he might not be captain. I ultimately am the one in charge."

But any celebrations will have to wait with Deschamps warning his players they will have a major battle on their hands against Martin O'Neill's side.

He said: "They've got a lot of heart, they work hard, but it's not just that. There are some good footballers within the team.

"The large majority of them play in the Premier League, they are used to playing against the top English sides.

"There are lots of good footballers like [Glenn] Whelan, [Jeff] Hendrick, [Wes] Hoolahan if he plays, [Robbie] Brady, [James] McCarthy, Shane Long - these are all players that play consistently at Premier League level, so they know what top-level football is all about."

More in this Section

Manchester United make Chelsea pay as VAR takes centre stageManchester United make Chelsea pay as VAR takes centre stage

Staunton urges Quinn to give Kenny full backingStaunton urges Quinn to give Kenny full backing

‘The champion is not going anywhere’ – Wilder confident ahead of Fury rematch‘The champion is not going anywhere’ – Wilder confident ahead of Fury rematch

Liverpool ‘contenders’ for Champions League title again, says Jurgen KloppLiverpool ‘contenders’ for Champions League title again, says Jurgen Klopp


FOR many of us, health insurance is high on the list of financial products which that we tend to avoid changing out of fear and confusion.Money and Cents: cover all the bases for best health insurance

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular Emma in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic comedy about the spoilt, meddling matchmaker who means well, says Laura HardingAnya Taylor-Joy: ‘Emma is my little monster’

Setting sail to travel the world as part of your job has a romance all of its own but for marketing manager Máire Cronin and engineer Mark Crowe it led to love.Wedding of the Week: Cruise ship co-workers Máire and Mark sail off into sunset

One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, writes Eoghan O'SullivanThe Podcast Corner: podcasts that will put you to sleep

More From The Irish Examiner