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Ross still in with a chance -- Feek

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Mike Ross

Mike Ross

Mike Ross

IRELAND will give Mike Ross every opportunity to recover in time to face New Zealand in Saturday's first Test at Eden Park.

"He's not quite there but it's changed from yesterday," said scrum coach Greg Feek. "I thought he was gone then but now there is a glimmer of hope. We wouldn't put him out there if he wasn't ready. We have a day off on Wednesday so we'll leave him alone and see how he wakes up on Thursday morning."

If Ross is ruled out, Declan Fitzpatrick is the likely replacement at No 3 and Feek, a former All Blacks loose-head, conceded that facing New Zealand would be an enormous examination for the uncapped Ulster man, who has only seven starts in the Heineken Cup.

The team will be named tomorrow with flanker Peter O'Mahony and second-row Dan Tuohy pushing hard for inclusion.

Irish Independent