More trouble for Kidney
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has called up seven additional players to the training squad, as injuries continue to play havoc with the national team in the build-up to the opening game of the Six Nations.
The Irish - who open their 2013 Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on February 2 - revealed on Monday that Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss has been ruled out for between 10 and 12 weeks, after picking up a an ankle injury in the victory over Exeter at Sandy Park at the weekend.
The 26-year-old South African-born player damaged ligaments and may face a similar operation to the one underwent by Brian O'Driscoll in November.
His recuperation will end his chances of adding to his two Ireland caps during the upcoming Six Nations, while Leinster' Challenge Cup quarterfinal away to Wasps looks like it will come to soon for him.
Kidney added Munster hookers Damien Varley and Mike Sherry to his extended panel.
Other additions to his squad include Munster back row forwards James Coughlan and Tommy O'Donnell, along with the Leinster pair of Rhys Ruddock and Kevin McLaughlin. Munster flyhalf Ian Keatley also received a call.
Ulster's Roger Wilson was considered, but has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Strauss's absence comes in the wake of news last week that injuries have ruled out several players - including Tommy Bowe, Stephen Ferris, Luke Marshall, John Muldoon, Paul O'Connell and Dan Tuohy.