McLaughlin replaces Ferris for New Zealand
Rugby:Ulster backrow Stephen Ferris has lost his battle with injury and has been ruled out of Ireland’s tour of New Zealand, with Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin called up for the three-Test series.
Ferris injured a calf muscle in the Heineken Cup final defeat to Leinster at Twickenham and after visiting a specialist in Dublin on Friday, it was decided that rest was the best policy for the big number six.
McLaughlin narrowly missed out on selection for the original 29 man squad named earlier this week, while the remaining positions to be confirmed in the squad will be announced following the game between Ireland and the Barbarians in Gloucester on Tuesday.
Paul O’Connell, who had his cast removed on Wednesday, has been running this week at the Irish team base in Carton House, while Seán O’Brien has had a procedure carried out on his knee but his recovery is expected to be swift.
Brian O’Driscoll had a similar issue with his knee and returned to training within a week and played eight days later.
Chris Henry and Brett Wilkinson will hopefully be involved in the Barbarians match, while loosehead prop Cian Healy has a dead leg and is fully expected to recover.
Ireland play their first Test against the All Blacks on June 9th.