Ireland’s Luke Fitzgerald ruled out of South Africa tour
Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out of Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa by a knee injury
The 28-year-old had been named in coach Joe Schmidt’s 32-man squad for the three-Test tour last week
Fitzgerald’s misfortune could open the door for uncapped Connacht wing Matt Healy
Luke Fitzgerald’s grade two medial tear, sustained during Saturday’s Pro 12 final in Edinburgh, looks set to see Matt Healy tour South Africa.
The hugely impressive Connacht winger was excluded from the initial 32-man Ireland squad but Fitzgerald’s latest injuries opens the door for the uncapped 27-year-old Dubliner.
Healy’s call-up was tweeted by the IRFU this afternoon but quickly deleted.
“Matt is certainly in contention, and as a left footer he would be a like for like with Luke,” said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt during his first media appearance since March.
Meanwhile South Africa have named hooker Adriaan Strauss as captain for the series.
New coach Allister Coetzee praised the 30-year-old’s leadership skills in what is a new-look squad.
“Adriaan’s leadership qualities are impressive and well-established and he has the respect of his team mates on and off the field,” Coetzee said in a statement from SA Rugby.
Strauss will become the 57th Springboks captain, taking over from Jean de Villiers who retired after last year’s Rugby World Cup.