independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ferris and O'Gara must prove fitness

IRELAND duo Stephen Ferris and Ronan O'Gara will be given a chance to prove their fitness with their provinces tomorrow night.

The experienced campaigners face a race to be available for Saturday week's Test against South Africa and, after losing Brian O'Driscoll and Rory Best to injury, Ireland coach Declan Kidney will be praying Ferris and O'Gara come through their Pro12 games against Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues unscathed.

The coach has added full-back Denis Hurley to his squad in the wake of O'Driscoll's withdrawal -- the skipper had surgery on his injured ankle yesterday.

The Ireland squad, meanwhile, will be hoping for some golden moments of their own in the upcoming internationals after being put through their paces by members of boxing's high performance squad.

Irish rugby manager Michael Kearney invited Billy Walsh and his boxing team to the squad's base at Carton House, where they trained in front of the players.

Then, the likes of Kevin McLaughlin, Gordon D'Arcy, Dan Tuohy and Sean Cronin were invited to step into the ring and spar with Olympic medallists Kenny Egan, John Joe Joyce, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes.

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