Ireland's Fitzgerald to miss SA tour

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Luke Fitzgerald suffered a knee injury in Leinster’s Pro12 final defeat by Connacht in Edinburgh

Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out of Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa by a knee injury suffered in Leinster’s 20-10 Pro12 final defeat by Connacht.

The 28-year-old had been named in coach Joe Schmidt’s 32-man squad for the three-Test tour last week.

Fitzgerald’s misfortune could open the door for uncapped Connacht wing Matt Healy, who rounded off a terrific season with a fine display on Saturday.

Connacht full-back Tiernan O’Halloran is another option available to Schmidt.

A decision on Fitzgerald’s replacement could be confirmed as early as Monday night, with Healy the favourite to get the nod.

The Leinster back joins a lengthy list of absentees for the tour which includes wings Simon Zebo and Tommy Bowe, and forwards Cian Healy, Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Andrew Conway.

Ireland face the Springboks in the first Test in Cape Town on 11 June, with the sides meeting again over the following two weekends in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Ireland squad

Forwards: Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Rory Best (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), Tadgh Furlong (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Sean Reidy (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Quinn Roux (Connacht), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), CJ Stander (Munster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster).

Backs: Keith Earls (Munster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), David Kearney (Leinster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Conor Murray (Munster), Stuart Olding (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster).



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