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Munster's Denis Hurley drafted into Ireland squad as fullback cover

Ronan O’Gara, meanwhile, has been cleared to play against Cardiff on Friday.

Denis Hurley in action for Munster against Edinburgh.
Denis Hurley in action for Munster against Edinburgh.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

IRELAND COACH DECLAN KIDNEY has called up Munster fullback Denis Hurley following yesterday’s withdrawal of captain Brian O’Driscoll.

The IRFU released a statement stating that Hurley has been drafted into the squad as ‘an extra back’ to replace O’Driscoll.

He will meet up with the camp at Carton House this evening and train with the squad tomorrow.

The move makes it appear even more likely that Keith Earls will take O’Driscoll’s place at outside centre.

There had been calls for Felix Jones, Ian Madigan or Robbie Henshaw to be given the selection nod but Kidney has opted to pick the 28-year-old who he has previously coached at Munster.

There is more good news for the two-time Heineken Cup winners with the confirmation that Ronan O’Gara has been released back to the province to take on Cardiff Blues on Friday.

There was another setback in the Irish propping department with news that Ulster forward Declan Fitzpatrick is unable to train until next Monday – five days before Ireland play South Africa at the Aviva Stadium. The IRFU statement read:

Prop Declan Fitzpatrick, who was being managed on a graduated return to play programme for a concussion sustained last Friday night, suffered a setback and will now be rested until Monday at which time he will recommence the testing procedures.

“This makes him unavailable for selection until he has completed this programme.”

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Patrick McCarry

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