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Kearney blow as Ireland name November squad

Date
European player of the year ... Rob Kearney.

European player of the year ... Rob Kearney. Photo: Getty Images

DUBLIN: Ireland were dealt a blow for their November international series when Leinster full-back Rob Kearney was ruled out with a back injury that requires surgery.

Kearney, the reigning European player of the year, is expected to be out for 10 weeks, and so misses matches against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Coach Declan Kidney named four new caps in the 31-strong squad: centre Luke Marshall, forward Iain Henderson, prop David Kilcoyne and hooker Richardt Strauss.

Strauss was born and raised in South Africa but is uncapped by the Springboks and is now eligible to play for Ireland based on his residency for the past three years whilst playing for Leinster.

"We have three incredibly competitive games ahead of us in November and while there have been quite a few injuries and niggles in the early part of the season, it has opened up opportunities for other players to step into the squad," Kidney said.

"There are world ranking points on offer, so the underlying challenge for us is to work towards retaining and improving our ranking position ahead of the Rugby World Cup pool draw.

"While that is the end goal, our focus will be getting our preparations right to match the intensity of international games."

Ireland also reshuffled their backroom staff, with current Munster assistant coach and former international Anthony Foley joining the national set-up as defence coach, allowing assistant coach Les Kiss to lead the attack and continue to coach the backline.

Foley will remain working with Munster outside of the international window. It was also confirmed that Leinster scrum coach, Greg Feek will continue providing his expertise to the Ireland team during competition time.

"I'm pleased that Anthony has taken up the offer of working with the squad to assist during this vital period in November," Kidney said.

"His previous experience of working with the team during the last Six Nations championship was important, but his own abilities and experience were central to bringing him onboard."

Ireland kick off their autumn series against South Africa on November 10, followed by Fiji and Argentina on the following weekends.

Squad: Rory Best (Ulster), Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Darren Cave (Ulster), Tom Court (Ulster), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Chris Henry (Ulster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), John Muldoon (Connacht), Conor Murray (Munster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Paul O'Connell (Munster), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster)

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
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