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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019

Rory Best ruled out of Ireland's tour of Australia with hamstring injury

The Ulster hooker has been replaced in the squad by Niall Scannell.

IRELAND CAPTAIN RORY Best has been ruled out of the three-Test tour of Australia with a hamstring injury.

Rory Best and Rob Herring Best pictured during Ireland's team session at Carton House earlier. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The Ulster hooker sustained the injury in the week leading up to the province’s crucial Champions Cup play-off win over Ospreys earlier this month, and has failed to recover in time to travel with the squad.

Best will be replaced in Joe Schmidt’s travelling party by Munster’s Niall Scannell, with Sean Cronin in pole position to start next Saturday’s first Test in Brisbane while Rob Herring provides the other option.

“Yeah, so Rory’s not going to tour,” the Ireland head coach said at Carton House this afternoon.

“He had a hamstring issue that kept him out of the game against Ospreys and we felt he was really going in the right direction and he would be ready for game one, definitely for game two. But he’s just not quite where we need him to be.”

Schmidt added that vice captains Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton could share the captaincy duties for the tour.

“Again, because a number of these things have just become apparent…we’ve two vice captains in Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton and a strong leadership group,” he explained.

“It will depend a bit on selection and what we feel we need at any given time. It could be that Pete and Johnny take the team on and share the load.”

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