Ireland rocked by double injury blow

Ireland have been dealt a huge blow with the news that captain Brian O’Driscoll and scrum-half Peter Stringer have been ruled out of their Six Nations match against France at Croke Park.

This has forced Ireland to reshuffle their back line, with Shane Horgan moving from the wing into the vacant thirteen shirt, allowing Geordan Murphy to move from the bench onto the wing.

Issac Boss replaces Stringer at scrum-half, a move that many thought should have happened sooner after Boss’s fine form in the November tests.

O’Driscoll (hamstring) and Stringer (fractured hand) both failed fitness tests on Friday. With O’Driscoll out the captains arm band is handed to Munsterman Paul O’Connell.

With boss being promoted to the starting fifteen his place on the bench goes to Wasps scrum-half Eoin Reddan.

“Brian was close to being fit but felt a tightening of the hamstring,” said Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan to the BBC

“Emotionally, it was a difficult decision to make but an easy one from a practical point of view.

“Isaac Boss will bring a different sniping game to Stringer but, after his performances in the autumn, I have no worries about him.”

Horgan made a surprise return to the team earlier in the week after a quicker-than-expected recovery from a knee injury.

It was thought winger Horgan would miss Ireland’s first two Six Nations games after picking up the injury playing for Leinster in the Heineken Cup.

365 Digital

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