Ireland: Ross Byrne called into squad after knee surgery rules out Ciaran Frawley, Andy Friend to leave Connacht

Adam Kyriacou
Leinster fly-half Ross Byrne kicking

Leinster fly-half Ross Byrne.

Ireland have called up Leinster fly-half Ross Byrne to their squad as they prepare for their final Autumn Nations Series clash with Australia.

With news that Joey Carbery is injured and Leinster’s Ciaran Frawley has undergone knee surgery that rules him out for several months, a call-up was required.

Carbery suffered a head injury following a high tackle from Albert Tuisue in last weekend’s match against Fiji at the Aviva Stadium, which sidelines the fly-half.

Carbery called in by Ireland

That left just Johnny Sexton and the newly capped Jack Crowley as fly-half options for Ireland heading into the weekend, with Byrne now adding an extra option.

Frawley appeared to be the next in line but his knee surgery means Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has opted for his Leinster team-mate, who is a reliable pivot.

Byrne will now look to impress during training but if Sexton can shake off a knock he suffered against the Springboks, it looks like Crowley will be on the bench.

Ireland have won both their Autumn Nations Series games so far, against South Africa and Fiji, and will be looking to sign off with another against the Wallabies.

Andy Friend to leave Connacht

Elsewhere in Ireland, Connacht have announced that director of rugby Andy Friend will leave the province at the end of the United Rugby Championship season.

The Australian spent four campaigns as head coach before taking up his current position as part of a reshuffle ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Friend has overseen some significant results during his tenure, including a first win over Ulster in Belfast for 58 years and a first victory against Leinster in Dublin in 18, and led the team to the Champions Cup knockout stages for the first time in their history last term.

“My wife Kerri and I have made the decision that our time at Connacht Rugby will finish at the end of this season,” he told the province’s official website.

“This was always on the cards when I signed my two-year extension in 2021, and one that I discussed openly with Willie (Ruane, CEO) and Connacht Rugby.

“It’s certainly not an easy decision to make as we have both genuinely loved everything about our time here in the west of Ireland. From the minute we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and made to feel very much a part of the community and the rich history of the club.

“I am very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve both on and off the field as a team since our arrival, and am driven to do everything in my power to ensure this season is the best one yet.”

READ MORE: Ireland: Robbie Henshaw and Joey Carbery ruled out of Australia clash through injury