1 Jun 2012

O'Connell out of New Zealand tour

11:57 am on 1 June 2012

The Irish lock Paul O'Connell has been ruled out of the three-match rugby Test series in New Zealand.

O'Connell had been undergoing rehabilitation on a knee injury in London with a view to following the Irish squad down under.

However, the Munster man has failed to progress to the level required to allow him to take an active part in the tour.

Connacht forward Mike McCarthy has already been added to the squad as further cover among the forwards.

The news will come as a further blow to coach Declan Kidney who is already without Tommy Bowe, Luke Fitzgerald, Isaac Boss, Tom Court and Stephen Ferris because of injury.

Doubts also remain over the fitness of prop Mike Ross, who is recovering from a hamstring complaint.

The Irish arrive in Auckland Friday night with the first test at Eden Park next Saturday.