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O'Leary blow for Ireland


Tomas O'Leary

Tomas O'Leary

Tomas O'Leary

Tomas O'Leary has been ruled out of Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with England after sustaining an eye injury.

O'Leary, who was in contention for the scrum-half duties at Aviva Stadium on Saturday, was the victim of a freak accident in training. The 27-year-old Munster-half back will be sidelined for between two to three weeks.

A statement released by the IRFU read: "O'Leary was undergoing speed training with a sled when one of the straps failed, recoiled and struck him in the left eye. This caused a bleed within the eye which affected his vision."

O'Leary, who missed the last two rounds of the Six Nations because of a back injury, incurred the damage during a supplementary fitness session on Tuesday afternoon.

The statement continued: "The bleeding has now stabilised and following an ophthalmology review it is anticipated that this will continue to improve.

"The situation will be reviewed on Friday and the current estimation is that O'Leary will be at least 2-3 weeks out of training while the condition settles."

The setback has potentially left Ireland stretched at scrum-half, with Eoin Reddan's availability to face Martin Johnson's Grand-Slam chasing side yet to be determined.

Reddan was concussed during the opening minute of Saturday's 19-13 defeat by Wales in Cardiff after being struck by a clearance from Lee Byrne. The Leinster half-back has recovered well and will see a neurologist this week to assess when he is able to return.

Ireland name their team to face England at lunchtime on Wednesday and the injuries leave a question mark over the number nine jersey.

Reddan looked set to continue in the starting line-up, where he has been selected for the last two matches, with Peter Stringer supplying back-up from the bench. O'Leary had an outside chance of figuring in coach Declan Kidney's plans, though his recent recovery from his back problem and a lack of form counted against him.