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Scannell to start for Ireland after Cronin ruled out with hamstring injury

The Leinster hooker has been cruelly ruled out but it means a big chance for the Munster man.

Murray Kinsella reports from Sydney

NIALL SCANNELL WILL start at hooker for Ireland in their decisive third Test against the Wallabies today at Allianz Stadium in Sydney [KO 11.05am Irish time, Sky Sports] after Sean Cronin was ruled out due to injury.

Rob Herring comes onto the Ireland bench.

Niall Scannell with Adam Coleman Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Leinster man Cronin had been named as Ireland’s starting hooker on Thursday but suffered a hamstring injury at Ireland’s squad training session the same day.

Cronin subsequently sat out Ireland’s captain’s run in Sydney on Friday and a scan on his hamstring confirmed a Grade 1 strain that means he is not fit to face the Wallabies.

It’s a major disappointment for the Limerick man, who had a superb season for Leinster but missed out on Ireland’s second Test victory over the Wallabies after a stint off the bench in the first Test defeat.

Having been handed the chance to underline his quality to Joe Schmidt by being named to start in the final Test, it is a cruel blow to Cronin to miss out through injury.

It means another major opportunity for Munster hooker Scannell, who delivered a strong performance in Ireland’s number two shirt last weekend and now finds himself promoted from the bench for a second start on this tour.

The 26-year-old will make his fifth start for Ireland in winning his ninth cap and will be eager to demonstrate his ability at the highest level of Test rugby once again.

Herring has also had a strong tour for Ireland, starting the first Test and coming off the bench last weekend, and the Ulsterman will be aiming to make an energetic impact off the bench for Schmidt’s side.

Ireland:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Niall Scannell
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. CJ Stander
7. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Rob Herring
17. Cian Healy
18. John Ryan
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ross Byrne
23. Jordan Larmour

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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