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O'Driscoll out of November internationals

Date
Ankle injury ... Brian O'Driscoll.

Ankle injury ... Brian O'Driscoll. Photo: Getty Images

DUBLIN: Ireland's preparations for the November Tests were dealt a double blow on Tuesday when captain Brian O'Driscoll and hooker Rory Best were both ruled out of the series.

O'Driscoll must undergo surgery after injuring his ankle while playing for Leinster against Cardiff Blues last Saturday, while Ulster forward Best sprained neck ligaments in a match against the Newport-Gwent Dragons on Friday.

Ireland face South Africa, Fiji and Argentina in the autumn internationals, and the absence of the inspirational O'Driscoll is likely to have a serious impact on their ambitions.

The 33-year-old centre is in the last year of his contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union and his future beyond next year is yet to be decided.

His unavailability presents Ireland coach Declan Kidney with further problems in his back line, as fullback Rob Kearney has already been obliged to withdraw from the squad due to injury.

With O'Driscoll out, the captaincy is likely to be handed to Lions skipper Paul O'Connell.

AFP

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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 vs AUS 01:30Twic
USA vs NZL 07:00Soldier Field
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA vs SAM 01:00Stadio Del Duca
ENG vs NZL 01:30Twic
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SCO vs ARG 04:30Murrayfield Stadium
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG vs RSA 01:30Twic
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FRA vs AUS 07:00StdF
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
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Round 9
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