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Ireland's Boyd Rankin ruled out of England reunion due to back injury

Ireland seamer Boyd Rankin has been ruled out of next month's two-match one-day international series against England with a back injury.

Rankin returned to his national side last year after a brief and unfulfilling switch to England, which culminated in a single Test appearance against Australia.

But a back problem means the 32-year-old Warwickshire bowler will not be involved when the Irish take the field at Bristol on May 5 or Lord's two days later.

Jacob Mulder also misses out with a similar complaint but there is good news from Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling, who both make the 14-man squad.

O'Brien, who hit the fastest World Cup hundred against England in a famous underdog triumph in Bangalore six years ago, has recovered from a hamstring problem and hard-hitting opener Stirling is available after a finger injury.

Head coach John Bracewell said of the matches: "The opportunity to play England in England and in particular at Lord's is not only historic, but a great tribute to Irish cricket and its journey.

"The 14 selected give us the best balance available to take on England in early May. It'll be another great challenge for our players, but one everyone associated with Irish cricket can't wait for."

Captain William Porterfield added: "I've no doubt there will be a massive support at both venues given both the number of Irish around Bristol and in London, never mind the amount of people travelling over.

"We're all determined to do well, and while we'll certainly respect England, there's absolutely no fear factor there. It helps that there are seven survivors from our World Cup win against them, so it shows just how much experience there is in the camp, as well as a number of younger players who have the hunger to make history again."

Ireland squad to face England on May 5 and May 7: W Porterfield (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, G Dockrell, E Joyce, T Murtagh, A McBrine, B McCarthy, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson, C Young.

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