Hugh Farrelly: Duffy gets call as Earls ruled out of second Test
CONNACHT full-back is Gavin Duffy is being flown out to New Zealand to join the Ireland squad following an injury to Keith Earls in Saturday's hammering at Eden Park.
Earls picked up a pectoral muscle injury in the second-half and was officially ruled out of the second Test in Christchurch yesterday, although it is hoped he will be fit for selection in the third Test in Hamilton.
The fact that Earls was providing cover for Rob Kearney has created a need for another full-back and Ireland coach Declan Kidney has turned to Connacht captain Duffy, who won the last of his 10 caps against the USA in 2009.
Ireland picked up a series of knocks during the bruising defeat, but Earls is the only player ruled out at this stage, although there are serious concerns over props Cian Healy and Declan Fitzpatrick. Healy picked up a shoulder strain, which Ireland say improved yesterday, while Fitzpatrick suffered a gluteal muscle strain with both players to be monitored during the week.
Paddy McAllister and Tony Buckley are next in line if a prop needs to be called out, but with Mike Ross said to be progressing well in his recovery from a hamstring tear, Ireland are hoping that will not be required.