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O'Connell makes Ireland squad

18/05/2010 11:37:59 PM Comments (0)

Ireland lock Paul O'Connell has been named in a 33-man squad for his country's tour of Australia and New Zealand despite doubts over his fitness.

Munster star O'Connell, who captained the British and Irish Lions in 2009, has not played since his country's final Six Nations match against Scotland on March 20 due to a groin injury, but has been deemed fit enough to take his place in Declan Kidney's touring party.

In a blog for sponsors O2 earlier this week, O'Connell wrote of his recovery process: "I was originally given a heavy dose of oral antibiotics but after another scan last Wednesday week, the antibiotics were administered by intravenous drip: three times a day for 20 minutes.

"You always associate hospitals with being sick and I don't feel that way, which is unsettling."

While O'Connell is on the plane, flanker Stephen Ferris misses out with a broken cheekbone sustained in training earlier this month, while fellow back-rower Denis Leamy and three-quarter Luke Fitzgerald are ruled out with knee problems.

Kidney's squad contains three uncapped players, with Ulster back-rower Chris Henry and lock Dan Tuohy adding cover in the pack and Leinster centre Fergus McFadden also included.

Ireland's program begins against the Barbarians at Thomond Park on June 4 before they fly out to New Zealand to face the All Blacks in New Plymouth on June 12.

They will then turn out on June 18 as part of New Zealand Maoris' centenary celebrations before facing Australia on June 26 in Brisbane.

Ireland squad to tour Australia and New Zealand:

Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), Tony Buckley (Munster), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Connacht), Jerry Flannery (Munster), John Hayes (Munster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Marcus Horan (Munster), Shane Jennings (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), John Muldoon (Connacht), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Paul O'Connell (Munster), Mick O'Driscoll (Munster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), David Wallace (Munster).

Backs: Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), S Horgan (Leinster), Robert Kearney (Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Tomas O'Leary (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster, Peter Stringer (Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster).

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