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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
James Crombie/INPHO Connacht lock Gavin Thornbury.
# Injury
Connacht's Thornbury added to Ireland A squad in place of Munster's Ahern
Andy Farrell now has a group of 49 players in camp ahead of the Springboks Test.

CONNACHT’S GAVIN THORNBURY has been called up to the Ireland A squad in place of the injured Tom Ahern ahead of Friday night’s clash with the All Blacks XV at the RDS in Dublin.

Munster man Ahern suffered a shoulder injury during his province’s defeat to Leinster two weekends ago and went for a specialist visit last week following a scan. The 22-year-old may be set for several months out of action.

Ahern had been named in the Ireland A squad but his place now goes to Connacht’s Thornbury, who was unlucky to miss out on involvement in the first place. The uncapped 29-year-old has had his own injury issues in recent seasons but has become a key figure for the western province.

Thornbury is one of 12 players to join the main Ireland squad for training this week, with Diarmuid Barron, Caolin Blade, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly, Max Deegan, James Hume, Dave Kilcoyne, Marty Moore, Scott Penny, Roman Salanoa, and Jamie Osborne all coming in as part of the Ireland A group.

The IRFU reported that Salanoa and Osborne both completed the return-to-play protocols after recent head injuries.

Ulster scrum-half Nathan Doak and Ulster hooker Tom Stewart will also join the squad later this week.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell now has 49 players in camp as preparations continue for Saturday’s autumn Test against South Africa, as well as Friday night’s meeting with the All Blacks XV.

That second-string New Zealand squad includes All Blacks-capped scrum-half TJ Perenara and out-half Josh Ioane, as well as exciting young talents like Ruben Love, Cortez Ratima, Dominic Gardiner, and Tamaiti Williams.

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