25 Oct 2012

Kearney out of Irish team

5:33 am on 25 October 2012

The Irish rugby side has been dealt a blow for next month's international series with Leinster full-back Rob Kearney 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 will misses matches against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

Coach Declan Kidney has 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 while playing for Leinster.

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