Sunday 22 April 2018

Ruddock out of World Cup as Keatley axed

Leinster back-row, Rhys Ruddock, suffered his third arm injury in six months when captaining Emerging Ireland against Uruguay last week
Leinster back-row, Rhys Ruddock, suffered his third arm injury in six months when captaining Emerging Ireland against Uruguay last week
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland have been dealt their first injury blow ahead of the World Cup after it was confirmed that Rhys Ruddock will miss the tournament.

The Leinster back-row suffered his third arm injury in six months when captaining Emerging Ireland against Uruguay last week.

Ruddock fractured the same arm and was not included in Joe Schmidt's 45-man training squad - although the coach did clarify that he would have selected the 24-year old but for the injury.

Munster out-half Ian Keatley paid the price for his inconsistent form last season after he was omitted from the squad.

Keatley started Ireland's opening Six Nations game in Rome but Paddy Jackson's end-of-season form has moved him ahead of the Dublin native.

Noel Reid and Jack Conan forced their way into the Schmidt's plans on the back of their performances for Emerging Ireland. Conan and prop Tadhg Furlong are the only two uncapped players included.

"The squad selection has been a long process with some very tight decisions," Schmidt said.

"Some injured players who are getting close to full fitness have been included while others have missed out due to prolonged absence or lack of opportunity to demonstrate their full Test match readiness."

Ireland begin training on Monday with their first warm-up game against Wales on August 8.

Irish Independent

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