BRIAN O’DRISCOLL and Rory Best have been ruled out of the November Internationals in a major blow to Ireland coach Declan Kidney.
The Ireland captain hurt his ankle playing in Leinster’s hammering of Cardiff Blues on Saturday night and, after initially issuing positive bulletins on his health, the IRFU this afternoon gave Ireland fans the news they had been dreading.
After undergoing further tests and seeing a specialist, the 33-year-old requires surgery on the joint to repair ligament damage.
The Leinster star has also been ruled out of the European champions’ back-to-back meetings with Clermont in December and will miss 8-10 weeks of action.
Best, one of O’Driscoll’s vice-captains, is another major loss for the games against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.
He hurt his neck playing for Ulster against the Dragons last Friday night and did not join up with the rest of the squad on Sunday.
The 29-year-old hooker underwent a scan and a medical review yesterday and it emerged that he had sprained ligaments in his neck. He will require rest and rehabilitation of about 4-6 weeks before recovering.