Ireland suffer O’Connell blow

Lock Paul O’Connell has been ruled out of Ireland’s tour to New Zealand.

The experienced second-rower was struggling with a knee injury, but was still included in the initial squad. However, the 32-year-old failed a late fitness test on Thursday and will not be part of the team that will face the All Blacks later this month.

Connacht lock Mike McCarthy will take O’Connell’s place in the 30-man squad.

Ireland tackle the All Blacks in Auckland (9 June), Christchurch (16 June) and Hamilton (23 June).

Ireland squad to tour New Zealnd:

Forwards - Rory Best (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Ronan Loughney (Connacht), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Brett Wilkinson (Connacht)

Backs – Darren Cave (Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Paul Marshall (Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster)