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Late blow for Ireland as Chris Henry ruled out of Springboks clash

The openside flanker has been replaced by Rhys Ruddock, with Tommy O’Donnell coming onto the bench.

The openside flanker will play no part at the Aviva today.
The openside flanker will play no part at the Aviva today.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT’S IRELAND have suffered a late blow ahead of their clash with South Africa, as Chris Henry has been forced out of the encounter.

The IRFU have rejected rumours that the flanker had suffered any issue related to his heart, instead stating that the 30-year-old was struck down by a virus last night and was not fit enough to play in an international match.

Rhys Ruddock will instead start in Ireland’s back row in the seven shirt, where he joins Leinster No. 8 Jamie Heaslip and Munster captain Peter O’Mahony.

Tommy O’Donnell comes onto the replacements bench, from where he will hope to make his fifth cap.

Henry took a full part in Ireland’s captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday, but this late issue has seen him ruled out of the meeting with Heyneke Meyer’s Boks.

For Ireland head coach Schmidt, this withdrawal is the latest setback in a long run of injuries in recent times. The likes of Sean O’Brien, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Iain Henderson, Andrew Trimble and Dave Kearney are also unavailable at present.

Kick-off in the Aviva Stadium is at 17.30.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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