RONAN O'GARA could make an immediate return to the Ireland squad for Saturday's clash with France – just days after coach Declan Kidney appeared to signal his Test career was over.
A hamstring strain sustained by Paddy Jackson in training could see Leinster's Ian Madigan start at fly-half at the Aviva Stadium, forcing Kidney to recall O'Gara.
Only on Sunday Ireland's most-capped player, with 128 appearances, was omitted from an extended squad, effectively demoting him to fourth choice in the position. But Jackson's injury could see O'Gara, who turns 36 tomorrow, receive an SOS call from Kidney.
"Absolutely not would I mind asking Ronan back, I'd be delighted. There was no fun whatsoever in leaving him out," Kidney said.
"I'd only be too delighted. It wouldn't be an awkward conversation from my side, absolutely not.
"It's the role of the coach to make these calls and I felt Ian had been going well and deserved his chance. But it's unfair to put Ronan in that spotlight. Everybody is centrally contracted, so everyone is available to play for Ireland at any stage."