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Ruddock ruled out of Italy clash while Leinster's Leavy still sidelined

The blindside flanker has picked up a hamstring injury.

BACK ROW RHYS Ruddock will miss Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy on Sunday after picking up a hamstring injury at Leinster training last week.

The 28-year-old was part of Joe Schmidt’s wider training group for the opening two rounds of the Six Nations without playing any part on the pitch.

Rhys Ruddock Ruddock has picked up a hamstring injury. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ruddock would have hoped to feature this weekend against Italy but the latest Leinster injury update sees him ruled out.

Leinster say the flanker “will enter a period of rehabilitation” after sustaining a hamstring injury in training last week, having been due to feature against Zebre in the Guinness Pro14 over the weekend.

Meanwhile, openside flanker Dan Leavy remains sidelined with a calf issue.

Leinster have not provided an expected date for Leavy’s return to action and the delay on his comeback has been frustrating for the 24-year-old.

Leavy last played against Connacht on 22 December and, though Schmidt had indicated that the flanker could feature in the Six Nations if he returned to prove his fitness, his hopes of featuring in the championship appear to be fading.

Ireland are due to name their extended squad for the Italy game tomorrow.

Leinster’s Dave Kearney will enter the graduated return-to-play protocols this week after presenting with “some minor latent concussive symptoms” following Leinster’s win over Zebre.

Joe Tomane is set to increase his training load with week as his recovery from a hamstring injury continues, but Luke McGrath [knee], Nick McCarthy [foot] and Will Connors [ACL] all remain sidelined.

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Murray Kinsella

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