Earls facing 'several weeks' on sidelines
THERE was relief for Keith Earls, Munster and Ireland rugby yesterday when it was confirmed that the 22-year-old suffered nothing more than an ankle sprain after an non-contact incident in training last week.
While the three-quarter had been progressing well in his recovery from a groin problem when the ankle injury occurred, Earls will not be able to resume training for "several weeks".
Nolan gets call-up to tackle Americans
IRELAND'S women's team will go in search of a fifth-place finish when they take on the USA in the penultimate game of their World Cup campaign in Surrey today (4.30).
Yvonne Nolan will start her first game, having been on the bench last time out against Kazakhstan.
Gillian Bourke moves to prop as Nolan starts at hooker. Sinead Ryan starts in the back-row, with Claire Molloy named on the bench.
With Tania Rosser ruled out, Louise Beamish again starts at scrum-half, while Jo O'Sullivan moves to out-half in place of Helen Brosnan, who has picked up an ankle injury.
Shannon Houston forms a new centre partnership with Lynne Cantwell, who picked up her 60th cap in the last game.
Ireland (5th/8th place v USA, kick-off 4.30) -- N Briggs; A Davis, L Cantwell, S Houston, E Downey; J O'Sullivan, L Beamish; F Coghlan, Y Nolan, G Bourke; K O'Loughlin, M Louise Reilly; O Brennan, S Ryan, J Neville. Reps: C Fanning, L Austin, C Mahon, C Staunton, C Molloy, N Stapleton, M Kelly.