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Van der Flier to miss South Africa tour after season-ending surgery

The 23-year-old had an ankle operation yesterday.

JOSH VAN DER Flier has been ruled out of the remainder of Leinster’s season and Ireland’s trip to South Africa next month after undergoing ankle surgery.

The 23-year-old made his international debut during this season’s Six Nations and would have hoped to be included in Joe Schmidt’s squad for the three-Test tour of South Africa.

Josh van der Flier Van der Flier's season is over. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

However, having seen a specialist on Monday, van der Flier had surgery on his ankle yesterday and Leinster have ruled him out for eight weeks.

The openside flanker initially sustained the injury in Leinster’s Guinness Pro12 defeat to Ulster in Kingspan Stadium.

With uncertainty remaining over the fitness of Sean O’Brien, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury since the Six Nations, the absence of van der Flier is a blow to Leinster’s Pro12 hopes.

Meanwhile, Leinster say that Rob Kearney [ankle] and Johnny Sexton [quad] were both replaced in last weekend’s win over Treviso for precautionary reasons and “are making good progress.”

Leinster face Ulster at the RDS in the Pro12 semi-finals on Friday 20 May.

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Murray Kinsella

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