Connacht duo among four replacements in Ireland's tour squad to South Africa

Tiernan O'Halloran and Matt Healy are among the quartet of call-ups

BY Newstalk 13:36 Thursday 2 June 2016, 13:36 2 Jun 2016

Connacht's Tiernan O’Halloran and Matt Healy ©INPHO/James Crombie

Connacht full-back Tiernan O'Halloran and winger Matt Healy have been called into the Ireland squad for the three-test tour of South Africa.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt announced on Thursday, that the Connacht duo, along with Leinster's Ian Madigan and Ulster's Craig Gilroy had joined the squad.

Both Healy and Gilroy have had outstanding seasons in the Pro12. They ended the year as the league's leading try-scorers with ten tries each.

The four players replace Luke Fitzgerald, Johnny Sexton and Dave and Rob Kearney. Fitzgerald had previously been ruled out, while Sexton's injury was reported on Thursday morning, but only confirmed by Schmidt this afternoon.

Dave Kearney picked up a calf strain in the Pro12 Final, while brother Rob pulled up in Ireland training on Wednesday. The full-back suffered a hamstring strain and wont recover in time.

The inclusion of O'Halloran and Healy, pushes Connacht's representation in the squad to seven players. They will be joined on tour by Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Kieran Marmion and Rob Henshaw. 

The Pro12 champions have a bigger representation in the squad than Munster, but still fall behind Leinster and Ulster who will be bringing 11 and nine players respectively.

Ireland's three-test series against the Springboks begins on June 11th.

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