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Jamison Gibson-Park and Jack Conan to miss Ireland Tests against South Africa

By PA
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park and back-rower Jack Conan will miss Ireland’s two-Test series against world champions South Africa.

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First-choice number nine Gibson-Park is ruled out by a hamstring injury, while Leinster team-mate Conan is unavailable due to personal reasons.

Andy Farrell has handed a first senior call up to Ulster lock Cormac Izuchukwu and included uncapped Leinster pair Jamie Osborne and Sam Prendergast in a 35-man squad captained by Peter O’Mahony.

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Ireland take on the Springboks on Saturday, July 6 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and seven days later at Hollywoodbets Kings Park Stadium in Durban.

With full-back Hugo Keenan absent for the tour due to his participation in his country’s rugby sevens squad at the Paris Olympics, Jimmy O’Brien makes a timely return from injury having sat out as Ireland retained the Guinness Six Nations earlier this year.

Hooker Rob Herring is also back after missing the championship triumph but Connacht wing Mack Hansen remains sidelined, while Ulster lock Iain Henderson is out after undergoing toe surgery.

Connacht scrum-half Caolin Blade, who has two international caps, benefits from the absence of the influential Gibson-Park.

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Ireland have won the last three meetings between the nations, including a 13-8 success during the pool stage at last year’s World Cup in France.

Yet the Springboks went on to retain the Webb Ellis Cup by beating New Zealand, who eliminated the Irish at the quarter-final stage, in the final.

Head coach Farrell said: “Travelling to South Africa to play a Test series against the defending world champions provides no greater test for us, and it is another valuable opportunity for us to further grow and develop from the Guinness Six Nations.

“The group understands the need to hit the ground running, ensuring we are the best version of ourselves for the challenge ahead.”

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Ireland’s squad will meet in Dublin on Thursday to prepare for the tour before departing for Johannesburg next Tuesday.

Skipper O’Mahony said: “I am proud to be asked to lead Ireland in South Africa, a country which provides one of the toughest challenges in world rugby.

“As reigning world champions, South Africa will provide the sternest of tests and we know that we will have to perform at a high level to get the results we want.

“There’s a lot of respect and familiarity between both countries in recent years at international and club levels, since they were invited to join the URC (United Rugby Championship) and European Cup competitions, and we know the challenge that awaits.”

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Comments

28 Comments
M
Michael 24 days ago

Will be interesting to see how they get on without JGP. Murray has a good game every so often as older players do, but not two games in a row and I would be worried for Casey.

Its a shame both sides are going to be missing a good few first choices.

B
BeegMike 24 days ago

Shouldn't be a problem for the world's best rugby team.

F
Flankly 24 days ago

Gibson Park was played out of the game against the Bulls. Ireland might have looked for a better option against the Boks anyway.

Unfortunately JGP was invisible at Loftus, and that’s the kind of thing that Rassie would double click on.

C
Chris 24 days ago

woa, Gibson Park is a massive loss for them. Can’t see them winning without that man tbh

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Tom 44 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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