Planet Rugby

McFadden sidelined with hand injury

19th November 2013 14:13


Fergus McFadden Ire training RWC 2011

Ruled out: Fergus McFadden

Ireland wing Fergus McFadden is ruled out of Sunday's Test against the All Blacks in Dublin with a fractured hand.

McFadden's fracture adds to coach Joe Schmidt's injury problems among his wide men, with Simon Zebo, Keith Earls and Craig Gilroy also sidelined.

Full-back Rob Kearney is also a doubt for Sunday's game after rib cartilage damage forced him off in last weekend's loss to the Wallabies.

That leaves brother Dave Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald as the only recognised fully-fit wingers in the squad, and Schmidt has called up Felix Jones to boost his back three options.

Brian O'Driscoll is, however, expected to play against the world champions, in spite of a calf knock that briefly necessitated him leaving the field against Australia.

His performance in the disappointing loss to the Wallabies was substandard, with one defensive error in particular raising eyebrows.

His Leinster coach Matt O'Connor confirmed the talisman centre was still a little ring-rusty.

"Of course he is under-cooked," O'Connor told the Irish Times.

"That's his third game this year. He is still finding his feet. It wasn't a great night for him, he didn't get too many opportunities, but that wasn't his doing, that was just the way the game went.

"Every game that Brian plays is just a huge positive for us. If we get him back with three Test matches under his belt moving into the Heineken Cup then that's a good place for us."

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