Dan Leavy ruled out of Ireland’s clash with All Blacks

IRFU spokesperson defends continuing trend of players not disclosing their injuries

Gerry Thornley and Gavin Cummiskey look ahead to Ireland v New Zealand, as the top two ranked rugby teams in the world go head to head at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. Video: David Dunne

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Dan Leavy has been ruled out of Ireland’s meeting with New Zealand on Saturday night (kick-off 7pm) .

Following what the IRFU have described as a “general movement amongst the players” over injury privacy, the 24-year-old is not willing to reveal the nature of the injury, which was initially described as “general tightness” by the union’s communications department.

Leavy will be replaced at openside by Josh van der Flier, who wore number seven against Italy in Chicago earlier this month, with Ulster’s Jordi Murphy coming onto the bench.

“It is something we had to deal with last week [with Robbie Henshaw’s hamstring] and [in March 2017 against England] we had to deal with it last minute with Jamie Heaslip,” said Ireland captain Rory Best.

“Actually, Dan was the one who came onto the bench and came on quite early in that game.

“Josh trained yesterday, they all slot in the backrows anyway. Josh, even on the bench, knows his role inside out. You are replacing a quality player with two more quality players.

“We’re not privy to selection, but Joe talked about how tough selection was this week, and I’m sure that was one position that was particularly tough.”

Van der Flier is effectively third choice openside, for Ireland anyway, behind Seán O’Brien, who requires surgery following a broken arm last weekend against Argentina, and Leavy, who was outstanding when coming into the 28-17 victory over Los Pumas.

However, the 25-year-old has been a regular starter at flanker for Leinster this season as O’Brien and Leavy returned from previous problems.

Following the lead shown by Heaslip and Conor Murray, the IRFU revealed that the players “movement” regarding the non-release of injury details is set to continue.

“General tightness,” said an IRFU spokesman who added initially, “This is the new paradigm we’re living in, GDPR.

“You guys probably haven’t had the same exposure to this as we have here, there is a general movement amongst the players controlling their own information.”

When asked about the instruction not to inform the media and public about the nature of the injury, the IRFU spokesman replied: “I’m telling you that Dan is not available for the weekend and that he has been replaced by Josh van der Flier.”

So, not releasing the injury information is Dan’s decision?

“That is the information I have. We are getting more and more used to this.”

Ireland: Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Kieran Marmion; Cian Healy, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong; James Ryan, Devin Toner; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. Replacements: Seán Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie; Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Karl Tu’inukuafe, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick; Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (capt). Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

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