Friday 15 December 2017

Wallace jets in to cover D'Arcy injury

Paddy Wallace. Photo: Getty Images
Paddy Wallace. Photo: Getty Images

Hugh Farrelly IN CHRISTCHURCH

PADDY WALLACE will join up with the Ireland squad in Queenstown tomorrow following Gordon D'Arcy's calf injury, which has forced the Leinster centre to return to Ireland.

No 8 Jamie Heaslip has also been ruled out of the third Test in Hamilton with a fractured right index finger, but there is no replacement being called out for him due to the available back-row options in the existing squad.

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll and prop Mike Ross had X-rays on facial injuries but both have been cleared to play next weekend.

After a superb season for Ulster, Wallace was deemed unlucky not to make the original touring party and could come straight in at inside-centre next weekend, although it is hoped that Keith Earls will be available after missing last weekend's match with a shoulder injury.

Another option would be to switch Jonathan Sexton to 12 and start Ronan O'Gara after the combination worked extremely well following D'Arcy's departure with half an hour to play.

New Zealand have their own injury concerns after the bruising encounter in Christchurch on Saturday.

Second-row Ali Williams has been ruled out for at least eight weeks with a knee injury that requires surgery. The uncapped Luke Romano is set to come into the match-day squad in his place.

There is also a serious doubt surrounding No 8 Kieran Read, who suffered a heavy blow to the head for the second week in succession and did not re-emerge after half-time after complaining of dizziness.

Flanker Adam Thomson "smashed an already broken nose" according to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen but is available for selection.

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