Leinster star to miss Ireland games
Ireland have been hit by the news Rob Kearney has been ruled out of the autumn internationals against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.
The 31-year-old Leinster full-back requires surgery on a back injury and will be out for about about 10 weeks so he has no chance of featuring when the first game against the Sprinboks takes place on November 10. As a result of Kearney's absence, Keith Earls is the likely contender for the full-back spot, although Ulster's Tommy Bowe could be another option. Meanwhile, the 31-man Irish squad for the series includes four uncapped players in Luke Marshall, Iain Henderson, David Kilcoyne and Richardt Strauss. A surprise absentee from the squad is Ulster scrum-half Paul Marshall, who has put in some impressive displays so far this season. Eoin Reddan and Conor Murray are both included along with fly-half options Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara as Marshall's Ulster half-back partner Paddy Jackson also misses out.