Duo brought in to Ireland squad
Ireland have called Tomas O'Leary and Kevin McLaughlin into their squad for the RBS 6 Nations opener against Italy in Rome on Saturday.
The duo are called up after being involved in the Ireland Wolfhounds defeat to Scotland A last Friday night. Full-back Gavin Duffy, also of Connacht, returns to the full squad after being released to play for the Wolfhounds
A statement on the Irish Rugby Football Union website said: "There are no fresh injury concerns for the Ireland squad after last week's training camp in Limerick and the Ireland Wolfhounds game against Scotland on Friday. Full-back Gavin Duffy, scrum-half Tomas O'Leary and flanker Kevin McLaughlin have been drafted into the senior squad."
Munster scrum-half Peter Stringer makes way for provincial colleague O'Leary while Leinster back-rower McLaughlin takes the place of uncapped Connacht man Mike McCarthy as coach Declan Kidney mulls over his options having seen his back-three options decimated by injury.
Wingers Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe and Shane Horgan all miss out with injuries, as do full-backs Rob Kearney and Geordan Murphy.
Luke Fitzgerald is the current favourite to fill the number 15 berth with Keith Earls also in contention. Leinster's Fergus McFadden, normally a centre, may be considered as a wing option after impressing for his province on the flank.
Kidney will name his side to face the Azzurri on Tuesday and also faces a selection headache in the back-row with number eight Jamie Heaslip and blindside flanker Stephen Ferris, who were outstanding during the autumn, sidelined with ankle and knee problems respectively. Veteran prop John Hayes is another absentee.