Ireland lose Earls for All Blacks rematch
June 10, 2012
Keith Earls has been ruled out of Ireland's second Test against New Zealand © Getty Images
Ireland centre Keith Earls has been ruled out of their second Test against New Zealand with a pectoral muscle injury.
The Munster back started alongside skipper Brian O'Driscoll in midfield for Saturday's 42-10 loss to the All Blacks in Auckland, but coach Declan Kidney will now be forced into a backline reshuffle for next weekend's rematch in Christchurch.
Connacht fullback Gavin Duffy has been called into the Ireland squad as cover and will be monitored by the Ireland team medical staff in the hope he will be available for the thEarls ird and final Test in Hamilton on June 23.
In positive news for the tourists however, they could yet avoid the prop injury crisis that initially threatened to derail their series.
Cian Healy was forced to leave the field at Eden Park with a shoulder injury, but he is in line to be fit for the second Test after showing improvement overnight. The Leinster loose-head will be monitored throughout the week, along with tight-head Declan Fitzpatrick.
The Ulster prop was replaced after suffering a suspected hamstring problem, which has since been confirmed as a gluteal muscle strain. Leinster's Mike Ross, meanwhile, is continuing his recovery from the hamstring issue that ruled him out of the first Test.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.