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Ross fears recede as Boss ruled out of NZ tour

FEARS are beginning to recede over the critical availability of Ireland tight-head Mike Ross for the tour to New Zealand.

A grade one hamstring tear has been diagnosed from a scan and the recovery time is estimated at two weeks.

He will be borderline for the first test, but should make tests two and three.

Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss’s troublesome thigh injury has, however, taken him out of the tour to his homeland.

It has been a frustrating few weeks for Boss, slipping from view as a potential starter in the Heineken Cup final to play the role of spectator at Twickenham and at The RDS on Sunday when his club came up one point short of a cup and league double.

The third scrum-half spot could go to Ulster’s Paul Marshall who will take his place on the bench behind Conor Murray for this evening’s non-cap international against The Barbarians at Kingsholm.

Munster captain Paul O’Connell will find out on Friday whether he can join the squad in New Zealand or be restricted to further rehabilitation on his knee.

Meanwhile, Darren Cave is relishing the opportunity to prove to Declan Kidney that he is the man to replace Brian O’Driscoll in the No13 jersey when he eventually retires, writes Dwayne Leavy.

Ulsterman Cave starts at Kingsholm in place of the rested O’Driscoll and is fresh off what has been Ulster’s best season since their previous Heineken Cup success.

“I loved playing for Ulster in those big games and it’s nice to be back in the green |shirt. It has been a while,” he said.