Sexton, Fitzgerald and Kearneys ruled out

Date published: June 2 2016

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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has been forced to make four changes to his squad that will travel to South Africa for their three-Test series.

The national coaching team have called up Craig Gilroy, Matt Healy, Ian Madigan and Tiernan O'Halloran to replace Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton and Rob Kearney who have been ruled out due to injury.

Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney and Sexton picked up injuries in last Saturday's PRO12 final. Fitzgerald sustained a knee ligament injury, Kearney picked up a calf strain and Sexton injured his shoulder which has resulted in the player undergoing a minor procedure this week.

All three players are expected to return to action at the start of next season.

Rob Kearney pulled up in training on Wednesday and a subsequent scan has shown a hamstring strain that will rule him out of the tour.

The inclusion of fomer Ireland U20 star O'Halloran means there are three uncapped players in the squad with Sean Reidy and Quinn Roux already named to tour.

The squad departs for South Africa on Sunday, June 5 and will play Tests in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Ireland last toured South Africa in 2004.

Ireland squad:

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

Backs: Keith Earls, Craig Gilroy, Matt Healy, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Ian Madigan, Kieran Marmion, Luke Marshall, Conor Murray, Tiernan O'Halloran, Stuart Olding, Jared Payne, Eoin Reddan, Andrew Trimble

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