Ireland suffer Strauss blow
January 21, 2013
Richardt Strauss is likely to miss the Six Nations © PA Photos
Ireland look set to be without Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss for the duration of the Six Nations after he suffered ankle ligament damage at the weekend.
Strauss turned out for Leinster at the weekend in their 29-20 win over the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park but he was forced off the field and was substituted at half-time. The Irish Rugby Football Union confirmed on Monday the nature of the injury and reports suggest that he will be out of action for between 10 and 12 weeks.
The news will come as a blow to both Ireland and Leinster following the weekend that saw the back-to-back Heineken Cup champions knocked out of the competition. Strauss made his debut for the national side during the November Tests and while it was possible that Ulster hooker Rory Best, who missed the autumn internationals, would retake the No.2 berth for the Six Nations, Strauss was in line for the replacement hooker shirt.
Ireland are also sweating on Ulster's Roger Wilson's fitness and have bolstered their squad with seven fresh faces ahead of Friday's Wolfhounds match with the England Saxons.
Leinster duo Rhys Ruddock and Kevin McLaughlin have got the nod while five of Munster's contingent have also been called up. Back-row James Coughlan, hooker Damien Varley, hooker Mike Sherry, back-row Tommy O'Donnell and fly-half Ian Keatley have all been added to the 39-man squad and will be hopeful of getting some game time on Friday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham