Thursday 18 January 2018

Diack gets surprise call

Conor George

Conor George

RONAN O'GARA'S omission from Declan Kidney's 32-man squad is certain to dominate the landscape for some time to come.

But there were a couple of other surprises in Kidney's selection for the France game this weekend. South African-born Robbie Diack has been included alongside the recalled Andrew Trimble, while Munster's Tommy O'Donnell is also in Carton House for the week.

Diack, who qualifies through the three-year residency rule, joined Ulster in 2008 from The Stormers initially as a No 8 but has now slotted into the blindside role with last year's beaten Heineken Cup finalists.

Diack recently signed a new contract with Ulster until the end of the 2014 season.

Both Robbie Henshaw and Darren Cave were not considered due to picking up concussions while playing at the weekend, and while a full medical update will be made public today, it is expected that Jonathan Sexton will be ruled out of contention for the France game.

Other surprise inclusions – alongside Ian Madigan – are Leinster pair Eoin O'Malley and Dave Kearney as well as Ulster's Dan Tuohy who earns a recall after injury.

Ireland Squad – R Best, S Cronin, R Diack, K Earls, L Fitzgerald, D Fitzpatrick, C Gilroy, C Healy, J Heaslip, I Henderson, P Jackson, D Kearney, R Kearney, D Kilcoyne, I Madigan, L Marshall, M McCarthy, F McFadden, C Murray, S O'Brien, D O'Callaghan, T O'Donnell, B O'Driscoll, P O'Mahon, E O'Malley, E Reddan, M Ross, D Ryan, J Sexton, A Trimble, D Toner, D Tuohy

Irish Independent

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